July 21, 2019
Deportation driftnet moves past criminals
An Adelaide-based migration consultant says New Zealanders and their families are living in fear because of the way Australia is enforcing its visa policies.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern failed in her meeting with her counterpart Scott Morrison last week to get any movement on the policies, which has resulted in hundreds of New Zealanders, the majority of them Māori or Pasifika, being placed in detention centres or deported.
Erina Morunga says people are worried about the security of their families, because the goal posts keep getting moved.
She says while the Australian Government is painting it as a crack down on criminals, the net has now been thrown far wider, and can affect people who come to the attention of the police even if no crime has been committed.
"The assumption and what we hear in the media often is we are talking about serious criminals, and it is easy to sell that kōrero as a legitimate one – no one wants to live around a bunch of criminals – but actually we are seeing people being removed from the country for no crime, no convictions," Ms Morunga says.
When people are picked up, they may have only five days to assemble to paperwork to seek an administrative review.
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