Corruption Infects Australia’s Immigration Programs

This may sound like old news, but it is still prevalent and still relevant. Disappointing reports of corruption in the immigration system pop up ever so often; the immigration industry in Australia is massive, and despite regulations plentiful enough to fill a library or two, it is one that continues and will continue to attract illicit activity.

ABC news reports that investigations have uncovered “‘ massive fraud’ in student, skilled migration and 457 visa programs, with  up to 4000 applicants who have lodged fake qualifications or counterfeit degrees to apply for skilled migration”. We are sure that investigations will continue to uncover many dirty little secrets.

It is only natural. Not to be too boastful, but Australia is well ranked in liveability, and the demand for visas is extraordinary. For some, the desirability of living in Australia is near priceless, and migrants or migrant hopefuls have paid fees in the tens of thousands for a visa. These visas are provisioned by “fixers”, unscrupulous employers, migration agents and department workers – it is hard to weed out where it stops.

Visas are applied for and granted, so the holders of these visas are legally here, but these grants have been based on fraudulent documents, from qualifications and work experience, to contracts and evidence of work experience.

Jasvinder Sidhu, who has spoken out about these illegals happenings, has been witness to holders who’d attained their visas illegally going on to be exploited. Submitting to slave-like, abusive work conditions, struggling to survive without pay, even rape has been tolerated, all for the sake of an Australian visa.

Whilst debatable that these people, if of good character, should not take up an illegal means of gaining a visas, they are clearly desperate, and their being taken advantage of is plain inhuman. The system must be fixed, for the sake of the Australian community as well as would-be ‘victims’, but how? Not all end up victims, but steal quota from those far more deserving simply because they have the cash on hand to beat the system.

It would undoubtedly be unreasonable to cut off the supply of visas as it would  be difficult to excise the complex network of tumors eating their way through the immigration system. There is no fair way to persuade fraudulent visa holders to come forward. Have we completely lost control and who is to answer? It doubtful that slathering on more regulations would prove sufficient in conquering this issue, so what can the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) do? Surely they must present an answer – if they do not take responsibility, who can or will?

We’ve been watching the Edward Kang case here in Sydney for awhile and these stories have become far too familiar. Through his trial, we’ve discovered or heard reports that he continues to operate, and worse, his hearings seem to continually find a way to get delayed. Taken on bravely by NSW Fair Trading, the DIBP made barely a peep on Edward Kang’s case.

DIBP, where art thou? We are aware that the immigration world generates plenty of jobs and income, but we’d like to hold our heads up a little higher as a country, I think, to say that we care more than this, we care about the people.

 

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