Thursday, May 18, 2006

A chance to Act

Immigration is the ultimate ball for politicians to pick up and sprint with. On the whole immigrants are a very vulnerable bunch, at the mercy of our immigration system: to be accepted, or not to be accepted. Refugees even more so.
New Zealand’s immigration legislation has been reviewed by the government, and their discussion paper is available for public comment. No Right Turn has given the whole document a fairly good going over, Tze Ming Mok has her points here, and my recent article on Scoop canvasses the opinions of some people in the know.

The most dramatic proposition in the discussion paper is the idea to introduce classified information into the immigration decision making process. A person could be declined entry on the basis of secret evidence – and that’s an incredibly difficult situation to defend oneself against.
In my research for the Scoop article, Paul Buchanan gave a good example as to why we should be concerned about political manipulation in the security intelligence sector. Remember those Iraqis, allegedly members of Saddam Hussien’s former government, who Winston Peters railed about in parliament last year? They’re now facing deportation. Buchanan has a point when he says that we should be worried about the two possible explanations for this: either the security services had no idea who these guys were when they first entered the country, or they’re facing deportation for political motivations – pandering to Peters. Neither possibility looks good.

Public submissions are due on the proposal on 30 June. Put in your two cents about the future of New Zealand. Do it!