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Latest Press Release
Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton during House of Representatives Question Time at Parliament House in Canberra, Monday, June 19, 2017. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas) NO ARCHIVING

Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton during House of Representatives Question Time at Parliament House in Canberra, Monday, June 19, 2017. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas) NO ARCHIVING

FED: Labor mulls support for citizenship laws

Date: Tue 20 Jun 2017


CANBERRA, June 20 AAP - Ahead of a debate within Labor over whether to back changes to citizenship laws, one of its frontbenchers says any reforms need to be fair.

The opposition will settle its final position at a caucus meeting on Tuesday, but has already accused the government of "stretching" in its claim that citizenship changes are needed for national security.

MPs have publicly questioned the need to change language requirements and make permanent residents wait four years before seeking citizenship.

Frontbencher Linda Burney questioned claims migrants will need to have university level English.

"Is that really fair for people who are escaping terrible situations," she told the ABC's Q&A program.

Any changes will have to be fair and in the national interest, she said.

"They are the two tests."

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has challenged the opposition to support his overhaul.

"I think it is really important in this modern age to make sure we're serious about citizenship and giving it to those people who are most deserving," the minister told 2GB radio on Monday.

"The government is putting forward a tough package in relation to tightening up on citizenship, but we really need the Labor party to support that in the Senate to get it through."

Source: AAP Australian General News