Australia faces a unique immigration situation; as a continent and island on its own and with one of the most successful economies in the world, Australia attracts immigrants from around the Pacific Ocean. However, getting to Australia is not simply merely jumping a fence or walking across a border—legal immigrants are assessed for whether they would be suited for Australia via a points system . Applicants for visas are expected to have a basic command of English, as well as requirements for character and health, as well as characteristics that would fulfill needs in Australia’s economy .
Australia’s population has grown at a rapid clip; the population has grown by almost twenty five percent since the Sydney Olympics. Naturally, not all of this is because of natural population growth. It is mostly due to immigration, both legal and illegal. Those who can’t pass the points system or are simply fleeing their respective home countries are often crossing the Pacific in boats and arriving on Australia’s shores, to be subjected to Australia’s legal market.
Tony Abbot, the prime minister of Australia, reacted to the December 2014 siege in Sydney with an understanding that immigration had to change, because of concerns with links to ISIS and other militant groups . Muslim immigrants, as in many other European countries, cluster in neighborhoods in cities and also spark concerns of “non-integration”. In the meantime, Australia has been scolded by the UN for its holding centers for immigrants, which apparently violate the convention against torture .
Australia’s struggle has been silent, compared to European countries which have been more vocal about their problems with multiculturalism. But Australia is seeing serious population growth; its involvement in Middle Eastern countries, often following the lead of the United Kingdom and United States, has exposed it to resentment, from within and without. Its own citizens are attempting to leave. Last year, Australian authorities raided houses in response to a threat of public headings throughout the country . Under Tony Abbott, it remains to be seen how Australia will incorporate its current and future immigrants.