POST 123: THE MORRISON GOVERNMENTS VISA SYSTEM IS IN DISARRAY

Introduction

The Morrison government have propelled Australia’s migration program into fast drive.

After loosening up the international border on December 15.  The Federal Coalition is expecting around 200,000 overseas migrants to arrive over the next 7 months. Those will include foreign students with automatic working rights and working holiday makers. However, it could be higher than 200,000 because temporary visas remain uncapped

The government has been under intense pressure from business groups to bring back foreign students as they provide a large pool of low wage labour for hospitality and retail industries.

The problem letting Business lobbyist’s shape immigration policy is the government have taken their eye of a major issue. Tens of thousands of undocumented foreign nationals are living and working in Australia.

Major problems with illegal workforce

Would it not be better fixing Australia’s visa problems before allowing in masses of temporary migrant workers?

Studies show there are between 60,000 to 100,000 undocumented (illegal) immigrants working on Australian Horticultural farms.

These undocumented foreign nationals are classed as illegal workers as they do not possess a valid visa or other immigration documentation, because they entered Australia without inspection.

Other migration laws which have been broken by foreign nationals includes staying in Australia longer than permitted or violating their temporary visa conditions.

Undocumented workers who ran away from their employer jumped from 225 to more than 1,100 in the past year.

In 2019-20, over 20,000 foreign nationals entered Australia illegally by plane, nearly all arrived from the Asia Pacific region, see Table 1 below.

Of the foreign nationals that applied for a Protection visa, only 1,650 were accepted by Australia as genuine refugees. That amounts to 7% of the total.

Table 1: Protection Visa lodgements by Citizenship (top 10 nationalities)

Country of citizenship2018–192019–20
Malaysia8,0136,046
China (Exc. SAR)4,8723,321
India1,8642,866
Vietnam7821,069
Fiji9801,024
Thailand1,319808
Indonesia672775
Philippines487659
Pakistan508609
Taiwan478423
Other4,5915,626
Total24,56623,226

(Source Department of Home Affairs, 2021)

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