Public Policy and Immigrant Settlement

Public Policy and Immigrant Settlement

Edited by Deborah A. Cobb-Clark and Siew-Ean Khoo

This book examines the role of immigration policy, and of economic and social policies involved in promoting the settlement of immigrants to Australia. It is based on research of two groups of recent immigrants who arrived six years apart during the 1990s holding a range of family reunion, skill and humanitarian visas.

Preface

Edited by Deborah A. Cobb-Clark and Siew-Ean Khoo

Subjects: development studies, migration, economics and finance, public sector economics, politics and public policy, migration, public policy, urban and regional studies, migration

Extract

Australia has had a formal immigration program for more than fifty years. During this time immigration has contributed to nearly half of the country's total population growth. Today, nearly one-quarter of the population are foreign-born; most of them are either naturalised citizens or have rights to permanent residence. The immigration program has always emphasised permanent settlement for migrants. Therefore, besides the setting of numerical targets, immigration policy in Australia also includes the setting of immigrant selection criteria and programs to assist migrants in their settlement after migration. These immigrant selection and settlement policies have evolved over the years in response to demographic, social, economic and political considerations. As an initiative to provide more information to better evaluate its immigrant selection and settlement policies, the Australian Government's Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs in 1993 commissioned a longitudinal survey of recently arrived immigrants. The Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Australia tracked a sample of these immigrants, interviewing them about their settlement experiences three times over the first three and half years of their residence in Australia. A second group of immigrants who arrived some six years later were also interviewed twice during the first one and half years after their arrival in Australia. In the interim period between the arrival of the two cohorts of immigrants, there were some changes to immigrant selection policy and criteria as well as changes in migrants' access to welfare benefits. Furthermore, economic and labour market conditions in Australia improved considerably. These changes in public policy...