More than 200,000 parents of overseas-born Australians may arrive under Labor’s generous temporary visa, putting pressure on future governments to allow them to stay for good, demographer Bob Birrell has warned.
Australia’s immigration system is riddled with rorts, inequity and corruption and our current immigration regime is not serving us well, according to Conservative Party leader Cory Bernardi.
The Australian reports, in his analysis of Labor’s policy, Dr Birrell says migrants with a strong sense of duty to parents in China, India and the Middle East would be likely to take up the visa in large numbers in the first term of a Shorten government.
Almost 100,000 foreign parents, mostly Chinese, are waiting in a queue for a permanent parents’ visa.
They are likely to jump at Labor’s open-ended temporary visa, to be joined by the fast-growing Indian and Middle Eastern communities, leading to “at least 200,000 parent applications” in the first three years of a Shorten government, Dr Birrell says.
Melbourne University population expert Peter McDonald estimated that 1.5-2 million migrant Australians could be interested in Labor’s visa and predicted an early rush to take advantage of its generosity before a likely tightening of the rules by a future government.
“Labor’s ‘temporary’ parent visa is an unprecedented offer – no other Western country provides any similar parent visa,” he says in a nine-page report issued by the Australian Population Research Institute.
Dr Birrell, an immigration critic, said Labor’s new policy would put in jeopardy years of difficult policy reform favouring young, skilled migrants and cutting back family reunion programs in the 1970s and 80s that brought in migrants with weak English who struggled to integrate and proved a burden on the taxpayer.
Senator Bernardi has told Peta Credlin on Sky News, Labor, the Coalition and the Greens all support high immigration levels because they grow our economy but at the same time they markedly reduce everyone’s standard of living.