Australians have delivered a sharp verdict against Asian immigration in a new poll. Sixty-five per cent of those surveyed believe that immigration levels are too high, and 88 per cent of those disagree with the mix of migrants, claiming that Australia allows in too many Asians. The poll, published in yesterday's Sydney Morning Herald, may indicate a resurgence of 'White Australia' sentiments, but more likely reflects concern over the state of the job market. Nearly three-quarters of respondents cited unemployment as their main reason for opposing further immigration, and 77 per cent affirmed that discriminatory criteria such as race or country should not be the means by which migrants were selected. However, the visibility of Asians in Australia is growing steadily. Asian countries - especially Hong Kong, China, Vietnam and the Philippines - accounted for more than a quarter of all immigrants who arrived in Australia last year. This, plus the proliferation of conspicuous Asian suburbs in Australian cities, may mean that anti-immigrant feeling is being redirected towards Asians, and away from the Greek, Italian, Lebanese and Yugoslav communities that arrived 20-30 years ago. The poll will also give political mileage to anti-immigration parties. It comes in the wake of a by-election for the federal parliamentary seat of Blaxland, in which two anti-immigration candidates received a combined 22.5 per cent of the vote - a strong showing by their standards. Aside from unemployment, the other reasons given for reservations about immigration included language, drugs and crime, social or religious conflicts and pressure on the environment. It is unlikely, however, that anti-immigration feeling will lead to a drop in migrant numbers, at least in the short term. Prime Minister John Howard has already said the country will accept the 96,000 migrants scheduled by the former Labor government for this year.