NZ ‘s racist immigration policy needs to be changed


Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon has criticised a “racist and discriminatory” policy against refugees from Africa and the Middle East, urging the Government to “fix it and make it fair”.

The “family link” policy, introduced in 2009, prevents refugees from Africa and the Middle East from resettling in New Zealand unless they have family already living here.

“Policies that single out African and Middle Eastern refugees and treat them unfairly in comparison to other refugees are unacceptable,” Foon told 1 NEWS.

Guled Mire, a prominent refugee and Muslim community advocate, said the community were grateful and heartened by Mr Foon’s comments on the family link policy.

In May immigration minister Iain Lees-Galloway agrees quota rules for refugees from the Middle East and Africa are discriminatory but was brought in by the previous government.

Lees-Galloway said quota rules run for three years and a government decision about the next three years was “imminent”.

Select Committee recommendation

A parliamentary select committee – with MPs from across the political spectrum – has been considering a petition demanding the policy be scrapped, but last week, reported back with little in the way of enthusiastic support. It stated:

“Reviews of the settings for the Refugee Quota Programme take place in three-year cycles, with the current cycle being 2019/20 to 2021/22.

The policy settings that are typically reviewed include: the size of the quota, the international regional allocations, and the size and settings for any subcategories.

The Government has already signalled the increase in the refugee quota to 1,500 individuals. We understand that the Government is still reviewing some of the other policy settings for the current cycle.

We encourage the Government to take into account the first-hand perspective and evidence given by the petitioner when reviewing the settings.

Gayaal Iddamalgoda, from the Migrant and Refugee Rights Campaign, said the MPs should be embarrassed by the “shameful” response.


Additional reading

News category: New Zealand.

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