In his speech to a joint session of Congress last month, US president Donald Trump praised the “merit-based immigration system” utilised by “nations around the world, like Canada, Australia and many others.” Trump declared the basic principle to be “those seeking to enter a country ought to be able to support themselves financially.”
Trump reiterated his enthusiasm the following day. “The merit-based system is the way to go. Canada, Australia!” he tweeted. He lauded a recent book, Green Card Warrior, by Nick Adams, who insists that the US admits too many immigrants indiscriminately, instead of stocking the country with foreigners who offer skills American businesses need and who are willing to “assimilate.”
The “Australian model” praised by Trump combines cruelty and inhumanity toward refugees, with a “points-based” immigration program that deliberately discriminates in favour of wealthy applicants and those whose labour power can be most readily exploited by Australian-based employers.
Australia indefinitely imprisons all men, women and children who flee to Australia by boat. They are kept in “offshore detention” facilities in conditions so horrendous that medical professionals have said it amounts to torture.