A new poll shows Australians strongly support immigration, with nearly nine in 10 people thinking immigrants improve Australian society.
That support rapidly dwindles, however, when it comes to those who don’t arrive via official channels with almost 50 per cent of those polled saying stronger measures should be taken to “exclude illegal immigrants”.
An annual poll conducted by the Australian National University has also found that more than 80 per cent of Australians think immigrants are good for the economy. The poll, which talked to 1200 Australian adults in March, found that the percentage of respondents who think immigrants increase crime rates has dropped by five points since 1995 to 29 per cent.
The same number – 29 per cent – thought immigrants take jobs away from people who were born in Australia.
But while nearly 70 per cent think Australia should either maintain its current level of immigration or increase it, 45 per cent agree that Australia should take “stronger measures to exclude illegal immigrants”.
This is opposed to 32 per cent who disagree that Australia should take stronger measures.
Australians in 2015 have a flexible idea about what it means to be Australian.
Those polled thought that respecting Australian laws and political institutions (96 per cent), being able to speak English (92 per cent) and feeling Australian (87 per cent) were more important than being born in Australia.
They also had notions of identity that went beyond the nation. While 90 per cent said they felt close to Australia, 48 per cent said they felt close to Asia/ Oceania.
At a more local level, at least 75 per cent of people said they felt close to their state and town or city.
Despite looking to Asia, many Australians are also continuing to look to Great Britain, with 44 per cent of those polled saying the Queen and Royal Family are very or fairly important to Australia.
Support for a republic has dropped from 66 per cent before the referendum in 1999 to 54 per cent today.
Article Via: smh