Australia's New Citizenship Test Sounds Like It Came From Donald Trump
The new policy was set by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. He said that the way it works now is supposed to ensure that people seeking citizenship really love "Australian values."
So basically, people are going to have to prove that they're rah rah Australia in all ways, shapes and forms before being able to become citizens.
To become an Australian citizen under the new rules, you have to have lived in the country for four years.
Previously, you only had to live there for one year.
Australia also increased the expertise of the English language required to become a citizen. Previously, basic English sufficed. Now, you need to be at at least 6.0 in the International English Language Testing System. That's the same level you need to meet to get into M.I.T.
"I reckon if we went out today and said to Australians, 'Do you think you could become an Australian citizen without being able to speak English?' they would say 'You're kidding,'" Turnbull said, according to NBC.
That kind of statement sounds a bit like the racist rhetoric we hear in America about immigration and how everyone should speak English.
People with a history of family violence or organized crime will be prohibited, and the test will assess beliefs on religious freedom and gender equality.
Fundamentally, the values that bind us together are those ones of respect, the rule of law, commitment to freedom, democracy … and our citizenship should reflect this.
If all of this sounds familiar, it's possibly because you heard it from Trump.
Trump has said that he only wants citizens accepted who "want to love our country."
He wants citizenship tests that ensure that "people that love us and want to love our country and will end up loving our country are allowed in" and that those who "want to destroy us and destroy our country," according to the Chicago Tribune.
So, you know, people who follow Trump's version of "American values" can be let in and everyone else can GTFO.
Turnbull also got rid of Australia's 457 skilled-worker visa program. The 457 program is the Australian version of America's H-1B program. Trump has said he wants to totally change that as well.
"We will no longer allow 457 visas to be passports to jobs that could and should go to Australians," Turnbull said, according to the Washington Post.
Turnbull was directly asked about the comparison to Trump. In response, he said something that sounded rather like Trump:
"This is a commitment to putting Australians first. Australians for Australian jobs first," Turnbull said.
Countries across the globe are facing increasing nationalism and fear of immigrants.
We saw that in the campaign of Trump as well as in campaigns from Australia to Europe.
This citizenship test change is part of this larger, international trend.
Citations: Australian citizenship law changes mean migrants will face tougher tests (ABC), Australia Introduces 'Values' Test for Citizenship (NBC News), Chicago Tribune, Australia slashes skilled-worker visas as Trump gears up for H-1B restrictions (Washington Post)