Immigration under Howard

December 11, 2006 the australian via democracy frontline

Howard is often accused of embracing Hansonism, yet our immigration policy has not only remained non-discriminatory, but immigration has doubled during his decade in power ...

February 20, 2006 the australian

Australia crossed two immigrant thresholds in 2003-04, which is the latest year for which Bureau of Statistics tables are available. The overseas-born population rose to 24per cent -- its highest proportion since the 1890s. And the European share of the immigrant total fell below 50 per cent for the first time.

The previous Labor government of Paul Keating had the overseas-born at 23 per cent of the population, and the European component was 57 per cent.

Mr Howard seemed genuinely pleased when the numbers were read out to him.

"Really? I think what it demonstrates is that we have run a truly non-discriminatory immigration policy."

After slashing immigration in his first term between 1996 and 1998, Mr Howard has steadily ratcheted up the intake to levels that now exceed those under Labor's Bob Hawke in the 1980s.

As Opposition leader in 1988, Mr Howard attacked Asian immigration. He later apologised and conceded the move cost him his job at the time.

His comment in August that year was: "I wouldn't like to see it (the rate of Asian immigration) greater. I'm not in favour of going back to a White Australia policy. I do believe that if it is -- in the eyes of some in the community -- that it's too great, it would be in our immediate-term interest and supporting of social cohesion if it were slowed down a little, so the capacity of the community to absorb it was greater."

February 11, 2006 the australian

Guess what happened to the Arab component of our immigration intake in the wake of the gang rapes in southwest Sydney, the Tampa and the September 11 attacks on the US between 2000 and 2001?

There was a dip in the year immediately after these shocks, from 6942 in 2000-01 to 6000 in 2001-02. But each year since has seen a new threshold crossed - 10,550 new Arab arrivals in 2002-03; 11,321 in 2003-04; and 12,961 in the last financial year.

Paul Keating had left office in 1996 with Arabs accounting for 7.7 per cent of our immigration intake. Howard lifted their share to a record 10.5 per cent in 2004-05.