The extreme vetting procedure introduced by Home Affairs Minister Mr Peter Dutton has resulted in a drop of 20,000 people being accepted for permanent migration in Australia as the government claimed it had weeded out “fraudulent claims.”
The reduction was quickly criticized by Migration Council which claimed the lower intake would slow economic growth.
Australia thus accepted just 162,417 permanent migrants in 2017, the lowest level in a decade.
The numbers result from a crackdown after Minister Dutton and former PM Mr Tony Abbott had advocated for a lower migration cap.
Mr Dutton confirmed that the current migration intake was indeed the “lowest we’ve seen since John Howard was prime minister,” adding that his department was “looking more closely at the applications that are made” to weed out “fraudulent claims” such as migrants overstating their qualifications.”
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">.<a href="https://twitter.com/PeterDutton_MP?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@PeterDutton_MP</a>: We're not going to allow people into the country where there's a fraudulent application; come into our country the right way and want to work. We want to make sure people are coming under the correct circumstances.<br><br>MORE: <a href="https://t.co/rbvbbDeAQp">https://t.co/rbvbbDeAQp</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SkyLiveNow?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SkyLiveNow</a> <a href="https://t.co/adgVUOQc0F">pic.twitter.com/adgVUOQc0F</a></p>— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) <a href="https://twitter.com/SkyNewsAust/status/1017583248614932481?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 13, 2018</a></blockquote>
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“We want to make sure particularly that, say, people coming through the spousal program are in legitimate relationships.”
However, Ms Carla Wilshire of the Migration Council said the vetting procedure introduced by Mr Dutton could cause a backdrop in economic growth as migration “has traditionally been a cabinet decision because the migration program is a critical economic leaver of government.”
“Migration affects workforce capacity and business confidence, and the decision to reduce the flow has implications across portfolios, including for the budget bottom line.”
“Dropping the migration numbers has the potential to slow economic growth and undermine business confidence.”
Already in April of this year Mr Peter Dutton had sparred with current Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull as the former proposes to cap ‘migration’ to a yearly ceiling.
Finance Minister Mr Mathias Cormann, said the migration cap of 190,000 maximum per year is a “ceiling, not a target”.
“It really depends on the quality of the applicants, as to whether or not you can reach that cap or you don’t reach that cap.”
“The number is ultimately what it is after all of the criteria have been properly applied and applicants have been properly scrutinized.”