Australian Immigration

2538 words 11 pages
Australia has a rich migration history starting with the first migrants being convicts transported from Britain between 1788 and 1840. Free immigrants began arriving in the 1790’s (Walsh: 2001) The Industrial revolution which caused wide spread poverty and unemployment in Britain, as well as the demand for workers in the wool industry in Australia enticed more free settlers to Australia, followed by the Gold rush in the 1850’s of which the largest group of immigrants were the Chinese. The bringing in of Polynesian labourers to work in the sugar plantations of Queensland also contributed to the population numbers swell. From 1851 to 1861 just over 600,000 people had migrated to Australia from many varied backgrounds and culture. By the …show more content…
In 2008-09, the vast majority (about 90%) of asylum seekers arriving in Australia without a visa were proven to be refugees. (Amnesty International Australia 2009).

Iredale and Darcy (1992) found that recently arrived refugees took a long time to establish themselves in local labor markets and that housing problems figure prominently in the early stages of resettlement. However this has found to be due to the time required to learn a new language and resettlement due to life experiences and assimilation into the country affect an individuals’ ability to find work and suitable housing. While having refugee status is associated with high welfare dependency this is among recent arrivals only.

While Australia has the humanitarian stream of immigration the refugees who attract the most attention are those who come into the country without the appropriate documentation and visa’s. These people often called “illegal immigrants’ are mostly associated with arrival via boat and are often known as “boat people”. (Jamrozik2009).

Concerns over the arrival of “boat people’ are often fuelled by media reports of increasing numbers of undocumented persons arriving in boats. However most of Australia’s undocumented refugees arrive by air and overstay visas. However lack of attention and media attention on this has led to a public belief by many undocumented refugees as being mainly from


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