At last somebody mentions the obvious. The Muslim hostility often seen and heard in Australia (See e.g. here) mostly comes from people not born in Australia.

A FEDERAL Labor MP wants Australia’s migration intake to be slashed so authorities can conduct more rigorous security checks. Kelvin Thomson said a smaller migration program would make it easier to assess whether applicants posed a terrorism threat. His comments come just days after police arrested several men in Victoria for alleged links to a Somali-based terrorist group.

“Given time, it would be possible to get to the bottom of the background of applicants from Somalia; and elsewhere work out whether they have any association with fundamentalist groups and make a rational assessment of whether they pose a risk,” he told year 12 students at a foreign affairs forum in Melbourne.

Mr Thomson, a government backbencher, said Australia’s immigration intake should be cut back to where it was during the Keating years. “Reducing our rates of immigration intake to the rates prevailing back in the 1990s would provide authorities with much more time in which to assess applications, and thereby improve Australia’s security,” he said. “My own view about this is that there needs to be more vetting of both prospective migrants and temporary residents, including students, to minimise the risk that people who do not respect Australia’s laws and legal system will enter this country.”

Police arrested four men of Somali and Lebanese descent in Victoria on Tuesday, on suspicion of being linked to Somali-based radical group al-Shabaab. It is alleged the men had planned a suicide shoot-out at Sydney’s Holsworthy military base.

Without referring to them by name, Mr Thomson said these suspects were examples of people who did not respect Australia. “Someone who refuses to stand up when asked by a judge, and says ‘I stand only before God’, does not respect Australia’s laws or legal system,” he said.

Migration rates had skyrocketed from 82,000 a year in the mid-1990s to 148,000 in 2006 and 2007. The number of temporary entry visas, including students, also skyrocketed from 265,000 in 1995-96 to over 4 million in 2006-07. “This volume is putting our immigration authorities under a lot of pressure, and making it difficult for them to do their job,” Mr Thomson said.

The Government’s parliamentary secretary for multicultural affairs, Laurie Ferguson, disagreed with Mr Thomson’s call to cut back migration, telling ABC radio there needed to be more resources to conduct speedier background checks. Mr Thomson, the MP for the ethnically diverse inner-Melbourne electorate of Wills, stressed the “overwhelming majority” of migrants were not criminals.

SOURCE

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