Decoupling work visas key to ending migrant exploitation

The Greens welcome the Productivity Commission’s report into our immigration settings, reiterating the need to decouple work visas from single employers.

“We welcome people into our communities who want to make Aotearoa home, bringing their experiences, skills, and perspectives, but tying their visas to specific employers limits the choices migrants have and opens up opportunities for exploitation,” says Ricardo Menéndez March, Green spokesperson for immigration.

“We call on Labour to listen to the many voices urging for an end to visas that bind people to specific employers.

“Improving the working conditions of migrant workers benefits everyone. Employer-bound visas create a perverse power dynamic where employers know they can get away with low wages and exploitative conditions due to their workers relying on them to remain in the country.

“While we welcome the recent Migrant Worker Exploitation Protection Visa, the Government needs to address the policy settings that enable migrants to be exploited in the first place, rather than only addressing it once it has happened.

“The Productivity Commission’s report follows submissions from migrants on the inquiry into migrant exploitation, urging changes to visa settings so that workers are better supported.

“We also welcome the Productivity Commission’s call for Governments to issue policy statements to set the direction of immigration settings. Governments have gotten away with entrenching discrimination in our immigration policies under the guise of wanting to attract ‘high-skilled’ migrants.

“A clear policy statement will create realistic expectations and entrench the sort of values of collective wellbeing we want our immigration system to be underpinned by.”

ENDS

Latest Immigration Announcements

Story

Govt must extend Samoa visa changes to all Pacific countries

Thanks to Green Party pressure, visitors from Samoa can soon travel to Aotearoa without a visa – a right that should be extended to every Pacific c...
Read More

Story

Govt continuing to prioritise high income earners in immigration system

The resumption today of the parent visa category needs to be followed by an end to the Government’s unfair salary based family reunification policy.
Read More

Story

Unacceptable immigration policy makes income a barrier to families being together

It is unacceptable for the Government to prioritise family reunification for high income earners, while forcing those on lower incomes to stay apar...
Read More

Story

Immigration rules must focus on workers’ rights, not just cater to businesses’ needs

The Green Party welcomes the Government’s decision to remove specific qualification requirements to enable more skilled chefs to come to Aotearoa, ...
Read More

Story

Govt’s migrant worker plan an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff

Once again the Government has stopped short of making necessary changes that will end the exploitation of people who travel to Aotearoa to work.
Read More

Story

RSE expansion stops short of what’s needed

Today’s expansion of the Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme (RSE) fails to guarantee Pacific people traveling to Aotearoa for work a warm place to...
Read More