A Federal Government initiative, Harmony Day, aims to help the integration of migrants.

A Federal Government initiative, Harmony Day, aims to help the integration of migrants.

Integration disintegration

First published in Advance, the Crawford School of Public Policy's magazine, in July 2015. By JESSICA KINSELLA, BA '05, LLB (Hons) '05, GradDipLegPrac (Hons) '08

A new study has highlighted the long-term implications of migration policy decisions and the impact they are having on social cohesion. Why think about Australian national security? Why, in particular, should we think about it anew?

Imagine, for a second, that you are a migrant to Australia. You may have been here for a decade or more, forging a life for yourself. You could be married, have children and a career that you have carefully developed.

Then one day, out of the blue, one of your parents dies. Your remaining parent is left alone in your country of origin and has no family members left there to look after them. It is up to you what happens next.

Your first instinct, quite reasonably, might be to want to bring them here, to ensure that their quality of life is what you would expect for them.

So what would you then do if you found out that the waiting time to bring them into Australia was 30 years? That's not a typo. This is the current waiting time for a parent visa into Australia.

If your sister was your last remaining relative, she would be waiting for 56 years.