Australian Prime Minister Proposes Tests of English, Values for Immigrants

September 15, 2006

Source: BBC News

On September 15, 2006 BBC News reported, "Australian Prime Minister John Howard says new immigrants should pass an English language test before becoming citizens. They will also have to sign up to as yet undefined Australian values, and might be asked to sit a test on their knowledge of Australian history. Mr Howard denied there were any racist overtones in the policy. With almost a quarter of its 20m people born overseas, Australia is a nation of immigrants. But the Howard government has long been worried about the social pressures and threat to national identity caused by the arrival of so many new people from such diverse backgrounds. Mr Howard is determined that foreigners seeking citizenship should quickly embrace a quintessentially Australian way of life, and leave behind their previous national, religious and ethnic allegiances."