A possie in Aussie

August 20, 2009

Immigration makes new rules for ‘colleges’ and reviews treatment of disability

Julia Gillard yesterday flagged legislative changes forcing all 1300 registered colleges and universities to re-register under tighter guidelines.

The Aussie possie has been concerned about the so-called colleges offering ‘education’ to international students as a path to permanent residency. Holy cash cows tell of rorts of foreign students.

To re-register under the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students, providers will have to demonstrate a commitment to education and standards. They must re-register by the end of next year Julia Gillard takes aim at rogue colleges

New inquiry launched into migration treatment of disability

In response to the Doctor who was denied Australian permanent residency because his son had Down Syndrome, the Joint Standing Committee on Migration has launched an inquiry into the migration treatment of disability. The Committee will examine whether visa decision-makers should be able to take into account the social and economic contribution, as well as the anticipated health care costs, of potential migrants with disabilities.

In the words of Committee Chair Michael Danby-

“Potential migrants with disabilities and their families are currently treated under the migration system as costs to our society, and there is little scope to take into account the contributions they might make to their community and workplace,” he said.

“Under the terms of reference we will be examining whether the balance between the economic and social benefits of the entry and stay of an individual with a disability, and the costs and use of services by that individual, should be a factor in a visa decision.”

“We look forward to receiving a wide range of submissions to the inquiry about where the balance should lie between our positive recognition of the role that people with disabilities play in our community, our human rights obligations, and the realities of a health system and disability services sector under pressure.”

Thanks to Andrew Bartlett for calling attention to this on his blog.

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April 4, 2009

Migrants, refugees, asylum seekers: they make us strong!

Peter J. Richerson & Robert Boyd write in Nature that

“As cultural evolutionists interested in how societies change over the long term, we have thought a lot about migration, but only recently tumbled to an obvious idea: migration has a profound effect on how societies evolve culturally because it is selective. People move to societies that provide a more attractive way of life and, all other things being equal, this process spreads ideas and institutions that promote economic efficiency, social order and equality”.

John Hawks (paleoanthropology, genetics, and evolution webolog) claims that there are at least two weaknesses with the biological analogy. You can read about them in his post.

John Hawks also quotes Peter Turchin Historical Dynamic: Why states rise and fall, reporting that he theorises that  societies that develop common feeling and solidarity tend to persist, and that immigration is one of several forces that weakens a society because difference diminishes common feeling and solidarity.

The development of any characteristic, however, comes in cycles of destabilisation of the old, evolution of the new, and a new stability. Both common feeling and solidarity are tested by new comers, and, if the receiving group is open to change, both are likely to increase.

The mistake is to think of ‘common feeling’ and ‘solidarity’ as immutable, where change must mean destruction.

January 10, 2009

Playing games with peoples’ lives

Filed under: migration — Nayano @ 3:36 pm
Tags: , ,

While lying on my new couch and watching reality TV (it is the weekend, after all!) I had an idea for an immigration game show – with contestants competing for Permanent Residency.

Then I thought that maybe that would be cruel, and playing with people’s lives – much like the game the government makes people play

I started searching for ‘immigration games’ and found an Opinion LA blog discussing I Can End Deportation – a bit of a nerdy on-line game in which you can be one of five characters — from an undocumented Mexican immigrant to a Japanese student to a girl who thinks she’s a citizen — and try to avoid getting deported. And suffer all the problems and indignities that illegal immigrants in the USA have.

For an even more-to-the point game, especially if your brain needs a rest on weekends, is El Migrante – the rules of the game are very simple – avoid the police as long as you can!

El Migrante

El Migrante

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