KEVIN Rudd is considering changes to allow authorities to take action against new Australian citizens who act in defiance of values underpinning their citizenship.
The Prime Minister said yesterday he was reflecting on the adequacy of citizenship laws after news that a Sydney man had been arrested for allegedly harassing the families of Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan.
On Wednesday, the Australian Federal Police charged self-styled Muslim cleric Sheik Haron for allegedly writing letters to widows calling the dead Diggers pigs and murderers.
The sheik, understood to go by a variety of names, has been charged with using a postal service to "menace, harass or cause offence". He was granted conditional bail, to reappear on November 10.
Mr Rudd yesterday described the case as stomach-churning, but said he would not comment in detail because it was under investigation.
NSW RSL president Don Rowe said if Sheik Haron were found guilty he should "not be allowed to live in Australia and enjoy the freedom which has been so valiantly fought (for) and sacrificed by our young men".
Sheik Haron allegedly wrote to Mr Rudd in February claiming that the Black Saturday bushfires that killed 173 people were retribution for Australian support of the execution in Indonesia of militants convicted of the deadly 2002 Bali nightclub bombings.
Immigration barrister John Gibson said there were grounds for the government to take action against a person if the applicant had lied in their application for permanent residence.
But he said it was "far more complex" where a person had obtained citizenship by conferral. "Once you become a citizen, for better or for worse you're a part of the country," he told The Australian.
"Once you become a citizen, for better or for worse you're a part of the country."
Australia has been throwing around citizenship like confetti for decades. Given our ridiculously lax citizenship laws, it is hardly surprising that we have miscreants like Sheik Haron now residing in our country.
Personally, I think Australia should emulate Switzerland's citizenship laws, the toughest in the Western world.
As this article explains:
Switzerland already has the strictest naturalization rules in Europe. If you want to become Swiss you must live in the country legally for at least 12 years—and pay taxes, and have no criminal record—before you can apply for citizenship. It still does not mean that your wish will be granted, however, and the fact that you were born in Lausanne or Lugano does not make any difference. There are no “amnesties” and illegals are deported. Even if an applicant satisfies all other conditions, the local community in which he resides has the final say: it can interview the applicant and hold a public vote before naturalization is approved. If rejected he can apply again, but only after ten years.