The Centre for Policy Development’s submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Migration’s inquiry into Australia’s migration system makes recommendations to strengthen the role that migration plays in nation building, cultural diversity and social cohesion.
It proposes that simplifying settlement and migration processes, adopting a people and place-centred approach to service delivery and supporting more migrants into decent work would help build a migration system that is principled, holistic and well designed.
The submission recommends the establishment of a dedicated Immigration and Citizenship Department focused on simplifying migration programs and providing clearer pathways to permanent residency. The creation of a new department, or autonomous division of Home Affairs, would ensure policy expertise is rebuilt and be able to take a more holistic view of migration policy.
Recognising that nation building is done most practically at a local level, the submission recommends designing migration and settlement programs that support the specific needs of individuals and families by involving local communities through people- and place- centred approaches.
It also suggests that improving skills assessments, supporting women into the workforce through microfinance programs, and using local community networks to connect migrants with local employers would remove the barriers to employment for migrants and provide significant economic benefits.
The submission draws on the Centre for Policy Development’s well-developed body of work on migration and settlement through the Cities and Settlement Initiative and the Asia Dialogue on Forced Migration (ADFM).
The authors of the submission are Cliff Eberly, Caitlin McCaffrie and Wenqian Gan.
A more holistic view of migration policy would take into account the range of people seeking to come to Australia and allow for considerations, such as concessions for humanitarian migrants to apply throughuncapped streams.
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