The Growth Lobby seemed to have gone to some trouble to justify immigration to Australia on Wikipedia. It seems dated during Rudd's tenure.
The arguments are shallow but useful in gaining an insight into the case for more immigration. The same old pro claims are presented:
Historical Success Claim - Immigration is good for Australia because historically Australia has had continual immigration and this has resulted in a growing economy.
Of course, this economic justification ignores the problems and injustices associated with invasion, convict settlement, colonisation, Aboriginal genocide and widespread deforestation.
It also presumes Australia’s historical circumstances have not changed and that carrying capacity is infinite. It also fails to acknowledge that immigration has concentrated in the Capital Cities of mainly Sydney and Melbourne, to the detriment of rural communities, which has encouraged the development of two Australia’s – an urban one and a rural one, with the bulk of government resources allocated to the urban one.
Skilled Migrants Claim Australian immigration policy is highly focused on encouraging selective skilled immigrants to fill skills shortages.
This argument is contradicted, when it identifies “in March 2009, the Australian Government announced a 14 per cent cut in the 2008-09 permanent skilled migration program intake from 133 500 to 115 000 in response to worsening economic conditions.” This indicates that migration does not encouraged improved economic conditions but exacerbates economic woes.
This argument ignores the 635,000 currently unemployed across Australia. How many of these are immigrants?
Immigration encourages multi-culturalism claim
The settlement patterns of Australian immigration have not been followed up with any programme of assimilation or any concern for demographic planning to avoid ethnic ghettos. As a consequence, instead of a gradual filtering of different ethnic groups across Australian society, each ethnic group has retained ethnicity, ways of life, cultures and values and many ghetto communities have been allowed to form. For example:
* Samoan enclave in Logan City (Brisbane)
* IndoChinese enclaves in Springvale, Richmond, Collingwood and Footscray (Melbourne)
* Korean enclave in Box Hill (Melbourne)
* Turkish enclave in Brunswick (Melbourne)
* Indian enclave in Hawthorn (Melbourne)
* Lebanese enclave in the Bankstown – Lakemba (Sydney)
* Vietnamese enclave in Cabramatta (Sydney)
* Indian enclave around Parramatta (including Harris Park, West Mead) (Sydney)
* Sri Lankan enclave at Strathfield (Sydney)
* Chinese enclave at Epping (Sydney)
* Sudanese enclave in Blacktown (Sydney)
* Malaysian enclave in Willeton (Perth)
* Indian enclave in Canning Vale (Perth)
* Papuan enclave in Cairns (Far North Queensland)
The trends show that these enclaves are being reinforced, rather than there being active assimilation with the broader community by federal immigration. Immigration is state-sanctioned invasion. Responsibly immigration respects local values first and ensures assimilation. Responsible immigration does not stop at the airport arrivals gate.
Immigration does not harm the environment claim
The argument runs that “on a global level immigration does not affect population” – it just redistributes it. Well since Australia is a more attractive destination for living, that redistribution is biased to Australia. Australia has become a melting pot magnet. Once Australia becomes over-crowed that attraction will dissipate but by then it will be too late to change. Forced emigration is not a democratic option, like encouraged immigration is.
The argument relies on the Productivity Commission, which has a mandate to encourage growth, so hardly a reliable source. “The Productivity Commission Inquiry Report No. 28 ‘First Home Ownership’ (2004) also stated, in relation to housing, that “Growth in immigration since the mid-1990s has been an important contributor to underlying demand, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne.”
Counter arguments about aligning population to environmental carrying capacity and the link between population growth and greenhouse gas emissions have been ignored.
Immigration doesn’t reduce housing affordability, rather it drives demand for better quality housing claim No basis is provided for this claim. It suggests migrants have more disposable income than locals which results in better quality housing. If this is true than wealthy migrants are displacing poorer locals.
Immigration raises employment levels for Australians who are relatively unskilled claim
No basis is provided for this claim. If migrants are only filling employment vacancies that cannot be filled by Australians, where are the verifiable statistics? How many recent migrants are in fact unemployed? Why are 635,000 Australian’s unemployed? Why would employers seek foreign workers in favor of local workers if the labour costs are equivalent, given foreign workers have added problems of language conversion, resettlement, cultural assimilation, permanency uncertainty. Why are Australia’s not allowed education opportunities to enable them to meet the local skills needs?
Negative population growth has adverse long-term effects on the economy as the population ages and the labour market becomes less competitive.
Perhaps more Australians would have larger families if the costs of living that existed in the 1950s boom were re-established. Immigration has raised demand, increased scarcity and driven up the cost of living, making large families unaffordable to all but e wealthy.
Immigration decreases unemployment claim This is a complete falsehood. Such a unsubstantiated claim needs more than theoretical regression analysis to even be listened to. While more immigrants will increase demand consumption for goods and services, that will encourage increased employment, if supply exceeded demand then why are process rising and not falling?
Immigration does not necessarily cause an overburden on public infrastructure claim
No basis is provided for this claim. The only justification offered is the biased “Productivity Commission's final research report found that it was not possible to reliably assess the impact of environmental limitations upon productivity and economic growth, nor to reliably attribute the contribution of immigration to any such impact.”
See also: of 24 Jan 09.