Australia welcomes over 600 new citizens

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Teresa Gambaro, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, will welcome 613 new Australian citizens in a ceremony in Brisbane, Australia.

The fresh Aussies hail from over 50 countries.

"I applaud those who choose to become Australian citizens, because it shows their desire to join the Australian family and to contribute to a prosperous Australia," Gambaro said.

"It demonstrates a commitment to the key principles that unite us all – such as respect for the rule of law, support for parliamentary democracy, and the desire to strengthen Australia's unique brand of freedom and openness by participating fully in our community."

Immigration has been a source of contention in recent Australian political discourse.

When Amanda Vanstone, former Immigration Minister, was sacked during a parliamentary shuffle, her department received a name-change ... dropping the "Multicultural Affairs" in favor or "Citizenship". Some perceived it part of as Prime Minister John Howard's desire to reign in the amount of Muslim immigration.

Over 100,000 migrants become Australian citizens each year. The new citizens come from such countries as Liberia, Scotland, India and New Zealand.


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