If you come to the Land Down Under, you better agree to Australia’s values or take cover (there’s a song in there somewhere.)
With Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at the helm, the country is now taking an “Australia First” stance and issuing tougher requirements and a new test for immigrants. Reuters thinks it's because of a “rise of nationalist, anti-immigration politics with far-right wing parties” but in actuality, it's just good old-fashioned logic:
On Thursday, Turnbull said basic English would no longer be sufficient to become an Australian citizen under the new test.
Applicants need a minimum level 6.0 equivalent of the International English Language Testing System, and a person will only become eligible for citizenship after four years as a permanent resident, up from one year.
"What we are doing is strengthening our multicultural society and strengthening our values," Turnbull told reporters in Canberra. "Australian citizenship should be honored, cherished. It's a privilege."
Turnbull added, ”I reckon if we went out today and said to Australians, ‘Do you think you could become an Australian citizen without being able to speak English?’ They'd say, ‘You're kidding. Surely you'd have to be able to speak English.’”
The new test updates the old multiple-choice questionnaire which asked an applicant’s cursory knowledge of Australian laws, national symbols, and colors of the Aboriginal flag, the report states. However, Turnbull believes that isn’t enough to determine if a person will adopt the laws and values of the country.
"If we believe that respect for women and children and saying no to violence...is an Australian value, and it is, then why should that not be made a key part, a fundamental part, a very prominent part, of our process to be an Australian citizen?” Turnbull said. “Why should the test simply be a checklist of civic questions?"
"We're standing up for Australian values and the parliament should do so too," Turnbull added.
The plan would replace a very popular temporary work visa and is expected to pass soon.
It’s good to see that Australia has finally seen the light. And with President Trump similarly pushing “America First” after eight long years of Obama’s anti-American exceptionalism, perhaps its time to require new American citizens to do things our way.