I offer readers this information in the light of mass migration and needed integration.
To Letters Editor, SMH
Reducing the waiting period for permanent residents to apply for Australian citizenship From 5 years out of 8 to 3, and then to 2, was intended to capture the so-called ‘ethnic vote.’ It allowed those with criminal intent to keep their heads down during this period; they could subsequently not be deported.
Prime Minister Howard’s 4-year wait for permanent residents was a pragmatic solution. To then allow for temporary residence in the qualifying period cheapened citizenship. Dual citizenship (introduced for political purposes) had already diminished the value of our citizenship.
To re-clad citizenship, which requires a commitment to the nation, it is desirable that 4 years of permanent residence be a primary requirement. A secondary requirement is that those seeking our citizenship should indicate clearly that they wish to integrate into the nation. What is unfair about these requirements?
(I was the Head of the Citizenship Branch in the then Department of Immigration & Ethnic Affairs whose expert team conducted the first ever review of our Citizenship Act. It was my recommendation, which was accepted by the government, that no one should govern, administer, or fight for the nation without Australian citizenship.
Beware those who want to make citizenship easy to access. Ask ‘Who benefits?’
I am also the author of a number of books, under my author name Raja Arasa Ratnam, on the successful settlement of immigrants and refugees.)