Monday, September 13, 2010

Australia: Big fall in migrant arrivals - 32 per cent fall in the past year

This is the sort of misleading report one expects from most of the media: The fall they report is off a previous very high level. The numbers are still around twice what they were under the previous conservative government

AUSTRALIA is heading towards recording its biggest drop in immigration numbers in 90 years. Although official data will not be published until next month by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, analysis of long-term entrant figures - an advance indicator of official migration levels - show a 32 per cent fall in the past year.

Demographic experts Macroplan Australia said the number of long-term and permanent entrants - including permanent settlers, students and temporary workers - fell by 111,000 people, from 341,000 to 230,000 in the 12 months to July 31.

"The fall is the greatest since just after the First World War, when arrivals were boosted to record numbers of returning soldiers," said Robert Hall of Macroplan. "The following year, numbers obviously subsided back to normal levels." That aside, the decline in the 12 months is the largest since 1901.

"If there is only a small change in overseas arrivals then you should not take much notice, but if there is a big difference drop then you would expect that to filter through to our official migration figures," said Neil Scott, assistant director at the ABS.

Immigration was a hot issue in the federal election, with the Coalition promising to cut net migration to 170,000 each year, a figure Labor said would be achieved anyway through a natural decline from the high numbers recorded before the GFC.

The Intergenerational Report, produced by the Treasury, has assumed average annual migration of 180,000 from 2012 onwards, but Labor has been careful not to enshrine this figure as a target.

Macroplan said for net migration to fall below 200,000, the government would have to introduce a variety of new restrictions on migration quotas and visa restrictions.

It says the fall in arrivals in the past year was due to a combination of factors including the GFC, government policy reducing the number of visas available, and reports of racist violence against Indian students.

Robert Hall said a drastic cut in immigration would be disastrous. "Over the past 20 years our economic growth has been 3.4 per cent a year, but if migration falls to the Government's target of 180,000 a year, it would fall to 2.7 per cent - meaning a big drop in our standard of living," he said.


Visa win for HIV refugee

Why is Australia rewarding fraud and lawbreaking?

AN HIV-positive African woman who masqueraded as someone else to enter Australia on a refugee visa has been allowed to stay in the country. A Family Court judge has expressed concern that treatment for the woman, given the name of Ms Freye in court documents, would probably cost taxpayers $250,000.

Despite police being told she had falsely claimed to be the wife of a male refugee already in Australia, the department had not revoked her visa, the Family Court in Brisbane heard. Ms Freye had also won custody of the other refugee's children, while their mother remains in Africa.

Details of the woman's entry were made public by Family Court Justice Virginia Bell in a custody decision delivered in Brisbane on August 20.

The male refugee, called Mr Goombe in the court decision, came to Australia in 2005 with three of his five children, as well as Ms Freye's daughter. Mr Goombe claimed he sent money to his wife for care of his two other children in an African refugee camp and applied for humanitarian visas for them.

In 2008 Mr Goombe was told his wife and children had arrived in Australia, but said he was shocked to meet Ms Freye instead of his wife. He told police that she had fraudulently posed as his wife, but they took no action, the court heard.

Ms Freye claimed she was welcomed into Mr Goombe's home, but after he made untoward advances she left, although she returned each day while he was at work to look after the children.

In his decision over who would have custody of the children, Justice Bell expressed concern about the circumstances surrounding Ms Freye's entry. "May I say that the thing that concerns me is, notwithstanding that Ms Freye came into Australia by way of masquerade, she was HIV positive at the time of the application for a visa," Justice Bell said.

"It was indicated to the Immigration Department that in fact this woman would, in all probability, cost the taxpayers of Australia some $250,000 because of the necessity of treatments. "To me this is quite staggering . . . that the Immigration Department allowed this woman to proceed.

"I have been informed that there is little likelihood of her visa being withdrawn, notwithstanding the fact the Immigration Department is now aware that she was not the person she was purported to be and was aware that in fact she was suffering from AIDS."

An Immigration spokesman said Australian law did not prevent a visa being granted to a person with HIV. [That's not the point]


1 comment:

  1. Australia still remains one of the hottest migration destinations and as Australia Visa Experts we believe that the fall could be mainly due to financial recessionary trends globally than anything else.