Bishops support efforts to prevent students’ deportation


Anglican and Catholic Bishops and other Catholic leaders have joined trade unions in asking the government to stop the deportation of 150 Indian students.

The students’ visa documents have been found to be forged by agents in India.

The students’ representatives, who include a lawyer and leaders from the Catholic and Anglican churches and the Council of Trade Unions, had asked for a meeting with Mr Woodhouse to talk about their treatment.

The Vicar General for the Catholic Archdiocese of Wellington, Gerard Burns, said the students were victims.

The initial request was denied, and subsequent requests have not been replied to, he said.

“I’m sure there are many reasons why the Minister of Immigration may not want to meet with us,” said Burns.

“But what we were aiming at was to put the case on a face-to-face basis with the minister, because there is obviously something clearly wrong with the system here.”

A spokesperson for Mr Woodhouse said it was not possible to meet the request within the timeframe given, and it would not be appropriate to meet while cases were being considered.

Anu Kaloti, of the Migrant Workers Association said the Indian agents who organised their visas were responsible for the fraudulent documents yet they had escaped punishment.

Some are still in business and promising more students the chance to come to New Zealand.

She said some agents had closed and reopened in the name of another family member, she said.

“Whenever the students try to reach them they have changed phone numbers or email addresses.”

The students’ case was raised in parliament last week and gained support from Labour, Green Party and New Zealand First.


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News category: New Zealand.

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