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Thread: NZ having a spring clean?

  1. #1
    MotherBear's Avatar
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    Default NZ having a spring clean?

    Tougher tabs on migrants
    06 April 2006
    By COLIN ESPINER

    Thousands of illegal immigrants could find themselves deported and new migrants subjected to secret security checks under tough new immigration proposals being considered by the Government. Labour wants to slice the estimated 20,000 illegal migrants already in New Zealand and halt the flow of more by reducing their rights of appeal and giving immigration officers the powers of police to arrest, detain and search them.

    The Government is also proposing to extend the use of classified information on would-be migrants beyond issues of national security ? meaning officials could obtain such data on anyone deemed a "risk to New Zealand's interests". National, United Future and New Zealand First have backed the proposals, but Green MP Keith Locke called them "repressive" and said New Zealand was following Britain, the United States and Australia in eroding civil liberties.

    Had the proposals been in force in 2002 they may have prevented Algerian immigrant Ahmed Zaoui from entering the country. They could also have been used to deport him, despite his status as a legitimate refugee, under a provision to allow the expulsion of anyone deemed to be a risk to national security. Zaoui is still fighting a security risk certificate placed on him by the Security and Intelligence Service and has lodged several court bids to remain here.

    Lawyer Deborah Manning, who represented Zaoui, said yesterday that the Government's proposals removed basic rights of natural justice and potentially placed New Zealand in breach of its international obligations. "The laws are harsher towards prospective migrants and they are taking away basic rights for those in New Zealand," she said. But Immigration Minister David Cunliffe said the proposals, contained in a 300-page discussion document, were only the first stage of wider plans to increase the number of migrants.

    The Government also planned to streamline the process for skilled migrants to live and work here and these changes would be announced later this year. The cap on skilled migrants was lifted last year from 45,000 to 51,000 and Cunliffe said he believed it could be raised further.The first step was to toughen up the systems for getting rid of those New Zealand did not want, however.

    "I believe we have some people in New Zealand who shouldn't still be here and it takes too long and it costs way too much to make a fair process work," Cunliffe said.

    There are an estimated 20,000 illegal overstayers in New Zealand, and about 1000 are deported each year. But many fight their deportation for years through four separate appeals authorities as well as the courts. In 2004 the Refugee Status Appeals Authority spent $1.9 million hearing 569 applications, 85 per cent of which were declined.

    Under the plans, Immigration Service staff would be allowed to detain immigrants for up to four hours without police presence and even enter the homes of illegal migrants without police present. The maximum length of detention without charge would be extended from three to six months.

    The use of classified information would be broadened to allow officials to access top-secret data on any applicant ? not just on national security grounds. Plans to limit judicial appeals could run foul of New Zealand's international human rights obligations, however.

    The British Government shelved plans to limit migrant access to the courts two years ago after Lord Chief Justice Woolf branded the idea "an unprecedented assault" on basic human rights.
    Mother Bear

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    Default NZ having a spring clean?

    Quite a bit of background info on the envisaged shake-up of all matters to do with immigration can be found on here. Necessary reading for those intending to immigrate in the future.
    Mother Bear

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    Default NZ having a spring clean?

    Good for them!! I love NZ

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    Default NZ having a spring clean?

    'Basic human rights' and 'international obligations'! PAH!

    What about New Zealanders basic human rights to live in a safe environment?! Why should any country accept anyone they don't want, just because the rest of the world thinks it's a good idea?!

    Would you let an international terrorist live in your home because your neighbours thought it was his basic human right? I don't think so...

    Once again, sensible law gets questions by the do (no) gooders.
    Taffy

    The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.

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    Default NZ having a spring clean?

    Mother Bear

    Try to bloom wherever you are planted.

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    ExPat is offline Member
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    Default NZ having a spring clean?

    Well there's plenty of immigrant bashing around the world these days - it's in vogue...

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12200612/

    WASHINGTON - The Senate sidetracked sweeping immigration legislation Friday amid partisan recriminations, leaving in doubt prospects for passage of a measure that offered the hope of citizenship to millions of men, women and children living in the United States illegally.

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    Default NZ having a spring clean?

    What out those still in the UK! You know where they'll all be swept!.....clutching a one way eurostar ticket too!!!

    Fisheress

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    Default NZ having a spring clean?

    Immigration hit-list under fire
    12 April 2006
    By KIM THOMAS and LOIS WATSON

    Tough new vetting procedures for migrants considered potentially risky to New Zealand is putting a strain on the Immigration Service and worrying human-rights lawyers. They are concerned the Immigration Service's newly established Immigration Profiling Group (IPG) is operating under a veil of secrecy and taking too long to process some foreigners' applications to settle in New Zealand. In some cases applicants are waiting up to a year.

    Department of Labour deputy secretary Mary Anne Thompson last night admitted there were delays in processing some applications but said steps were being taken to address the problem. "We are putting more resources into IPG to ensure more timely responses ... there have been some teething problems," Thompson said.

    IPG was set up in July last year to scrutinise the applications from "high-risk" migrants from countries associated with abusive governments and human-rights violations. It was formed after NZ First leader Winston Peters revealed Amer Mahdi Al-Khshali, a former Iraqi minister of agriculture and agrarian reform, was in New Zealand. The revelation came just a day after then Immigration Minister Paul Swain revoked the visa of former Iraqi diplomat Zuhair Mohammed Al-Omar, who was uncovered during the search for Al-Khshali.

    Both men were granted visas through the Immigration Service's Bangkok office, prompting the Government to order a halt to the overseas processing of applications from high-risk countries. Since then IPG has made decisions on about 4000 visa or residency applications.

    Human-rights lawyers though are concerned at the lack of transparency in the decision-making and fear individuals are being singled out simply because of where they come from. "The concern is that it is a use of an executive power to act against people based on something they can't help ? where they came from," said Auckland District Law Society (ADLS) immigration and refugee committee convenor Simon Laurent. "If the Government is able to do this in the immigration sphere, where else could they do it?"

    The ADLS has laid a complaint with Immigration New Zealand over its refusal to divulge countries on its hit-list and complained about delays faced by some applicants.

    Thompson confirmed IPG did have a hit-list of countries that it targeted but refused to identify them, initially citing security reasons. Asked what kind of risk New Zealand would be exposed to if the countries were identified, Thompson declined to elaborate. "We just don't identify them ? we don't want to. It would pose a few difficulties."

    Lawyers and immigration consultants who spoke to The Press said they suspected the countries on the hit-list were predominantly Muslim and included many in South-east Asia and the Middle East, including Syria and Iraq.

    Immigration lawyer and former Progressives MP Matt Robson said he was accidentally been sent a copy of the hit-list when he was in Parliament, but was bound by rules which meant he could not divulge its details. However, he said the list was far-reaching and would surprise many people as it did not include solely Muslim countries but also countries such as Cuba and South Pacific nations not traditionally viewed as threats.

    Robson said the IPG should come clean about who it was targeting and how it worked. "This way, there is no way for people to challenge things if they are denied entry, or to understand the basis of refusals," he said. "It is being run on a system of secret information and privileged documents."
    Mother Bear

    Try to bloom wherever you are planted.

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