Australia is requiring its new citizens to do this. When will we?

sydney-opera-sydney-opera-landmark-australia

Australia has announced a new citizenship test that raises the bar on new entrants into the country and I think it’s something the United States should adopt and soon.

According to Reuters, new citizens will have to wait out an extended waiting period and will have to take an “Australian values” test before gaining citizenship. Also, no longer will a cursory knowledge of English be enough. It’s all part of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s vision of putting “Australia First.” Sound familiar?

From Reuters:

On Thursday, Turnbull said basic English would no longer be sufficient to become an Australian citizen under the new test.

Applicants need a minimum level 6.0 equivalent of the International English Language Testing System, and a person will only become eligible for citizenship after four years as a permanent resident, up from one year.

“What we are doing is strengthening our multicultural society and strengthening our values,” Turnbull told reporters in Canberra. “Australian citizenship should be honored, cherished. It’s a privilege.”

“I reckon if we went out today and said to Australians, “Do you think you could become an Australian citizen without being able to speak English?” They’d say, “You’re kidding. Surely you’d have to be able to speak English.”

Turnbull said the current immigration process was mainly “administrative” while the citizenship test largely a “civics test.”

The current citizenship multiple-choice questionnaire tests a person’s knowledge of Australian laws, national symbols and colors of the Aboriginal flag. But Turnbull said it was not adequate to judge whether a person would accept “Australian values.”

“If we believe that respect for women and children and saying no to violence…is an Australian value, and it is, then why should that not be made a key part, a fundamental part, a very prominent part, of our process to be an Australian citizen? Why should the test simply be a checklist of civic questions?”

It’s good to see a country stand up for its laws and core values and — gasp — demand the same from its citizens.

Australia is waking up. When will we?

Photo credit: Foter.com

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Bunzi1964

    Bravo.

    • Jane Dough

      Ditto

  • iamcrm

    I do believe we are seeing the beginnings of the realization that unfettered multiculturalism is a failure and a danger. Although it is great that western cultures are willing to embrace people from every culture around the world, it cannot continue as it has been. I have been personally enriched by knowing people from other nations around the world but I see too many immigrants who are all too willing to insult and attack this country and our values.

    It is the “progressive” idea that those from other cultures must be permitted to ignore the values and the culture that has accepted them, and that the host country must instead bend over backward to ensure that they do not have to feel as though they left their own behind. That’s why we see the “press #1 for English” and the road signs, government forms, and companies who must have a variety of translators on staff in order to accommodate people who don’t want to learn OUR language.

    That’s not the only insult. There are the verbal attacks and the symbolic actions (like stomping our flag) against America from those who should be grateful to this nation. That ingratitude comes from being given more and more from this nation, and expecting less and less from its immigrants. When the USA allowed immigrants to come here without ANY help or assistance, and demanded they learn English, immigrants were HAPPY to do it! Today, they come here (legally and illegally) and demand that we cater to them.

    • Katrina

      Very well said. Think of the money that would be saved in translators alone. And reams of paper with the same information printed in various languages. People have a freedom of choice. If they choose not to learn our language and laws, stay away.