The Green Party will deliver its open letter asking the Minister for Immigration to fix the broken immigration system next week.
Green Party spokesperson for Immigration Ricardo Menéndez March announced the delivery of the 17,000-signature open letter at a public meeting for migrant rights in Auckland Central today, alongside Auckland Central MP Chlöe Swarbrick.
“Our vision for immigration is a system where migrants are respected as welcome members of our communities, not reduced to economic units,” Menéndez March says.
“But right now, we have a system that discriminates and separates, treating migrant workers as cheap labour and second class citizens.
“This letter is even more important now that the Government is planning a ‘reset’ of the immigration system, by using migrants as a scapegoat for our problems with housing, infrastructure and welfare.
“Migrants on temporary visas have no clear pathways to residency, are left dependent on dodgy employers, and are separated from their families and loved ones through rules that discriminate on wealth, nationality, and relationships.
“I’ve had many, many people contact my office, worried they will be kicked off the residency wait-list as a result of this reset. Some of these people, who are valued members of our communities, have been waiting for years to get residency.
“The Government wants to shift ‘away from low-skilled, low-paid’ migrants, but this is a disservice to the many migrant workers who made essential contributions to our country during a global pandemic.
“To be calling them low-skilled is reflective of the fact that the skilled migrant category is now measured on salary, rather than the skills people have.
“Migrant communities are part of the team of 5 million, and it’s time for the Government to enable them to fully participate in Aotearoa.”