Australian government imposes harsh financial burdens on immigrant families
25 April 2018
The Liberal-National Coalition government has just made it harder for working class families to migrate to Australia, and effectively cut migration numbers at the same time.
The changes feed into the right-wing agitation against immigrants, making them scapegoats for deteriorating economic and social conditions. They also take to a new level the corporate model of migration, imposed by successive Coalition and Labor governments. This utilises a points-based system to prioritise readily-exploitable skilled employees for business, while restricting the number of poorer families.
As of April 1, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s government made significant alterations to the “assurance of support scheme.” This reactionary scheme denies migrants the right to bring family members to Australia unless they demonstrate to the government they can financially provide for them. The scheme is specifically designed to target poorer migrant families and is touted as a means to keep new migrants off welfare.
The amount of income that families must have to act as financial backers for their parents has been doubled. For example, previously a couple had to have a combined annual income of $45,185 to vouch for their parents. That total is now $115,475 a year. Similarly, a single person must now earn $86,606, up from $45,185.40. These income levels exclude millions of working class households.
Additionally, as of April 1, 2019, bank guarantee requirements for certain visas will be increased and expanded. These guarantees force migrant families to provide lump sum assurances to the government, which they must pay if a newly-arrived family member requires a payment from the…