Thursday, October 04, 2007

'On common ground'

The Age's social affairs editor Farah Farouque has written a response to the federal government's decision to accept less African refugees:

RMIT's Professor Desmond Cahill, who was responsible for helping develop Vietnamese and Greek settlement programs, certainly sees something familiar in this week's debate. "In any immigration and refugees debate there are echoes of the past," he observes.
"When the Turks came in the early 1970s there was much doubt about there capacity to settle and integrate, followed by the East Timorese and larger Vietnamese groups. "Migration and refugee policy has always been a controversial topic, and most groups have taken a long time to be accepted.
"By the early 1970s, for example, 40 per cent of the Australian population did not want Italians admitted to Australia, even though most had already arrived."
The full article is here.

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