Proposed Australian citizenship changes delayed, the quandary of US Residency or Citizenship, and new play reveals Shakespearian immigration difficulties.
The term on proposed changes to Australia’s citizenship legislation lapsed last week, resulting in assessment continuing along previous requirements. The next date of changes is July1st, 2018, at which point residence requirements are expected to increase, the English test regime may change, integration tests introduced, and ministerial power to refuse applications increased. Applicants are at present required to have been in Australia for 4 years and have basic English skills.
Many foreigners in the US choose to maintain permanent residency status rather than apply for citizenship. The first possibility is now drawing attention due to the DACA controversy, increasing recent demand for citizenship applications. In the past, many permanent residents chose to maintain their original citizenship –primarily for reasons of self-identity, but also due to the difficulties in becoming a citizen, including examinations on US history and civics.
Ella Smith and Emma West’s West-End play, With Would You Go, which opened yesterday at the Harold Pinter Theater, juxtaposes Shakespearean texts upon refugee-related news videos. Texts describing the “mountainish inhumanity” include excerpts from the Book of Sir Thomas Moore (“wretched strangers… plodding to the ports and coasts for transportation … ruffians shark on you, and men like ravenous fishes would feed on one another”). The play features Syrian refugee, Jay Abdo and others and actors Martin Freeman, Olivia Williams, Roger Allam, Celia Imrie, and Lee Evans, who appear in the play for free.