With the alarming number of Dawn Raids occurring, the Green Party is calling on the Minister to immediately grant an amnesty to all overstayers.
“I have been utterly appalled by recent reports of Dawn Raids occurring across Aotearoa and call on the Minister to put a stop to this once and for all by granting an amnesty to all overstayers,” says the Green Party’s Pacific spokesperson Teanau Tuiono.
“I ask anyone to put themselves into the shoes of this man and to imagine what it was like for his children to see their dad being taken from them at 5am in the morning. There is no circumstance in which this is acceptable.
“Two years ago the government apologised for the dawn raids of the 1970s, saying it was a discriminatory implementation of immigration laws.
“How on earth is this still happening? We need answers. I would be deeply troubled if the Minister did not know this was happening, when we now know there have been about 18 such incidents between last July and April this year.
“We also need action. It is simply not good enough for Ministers to express “concern” and to reiterate their expectation that dawn raid tactics are not used. The Dawn Raids are a shameful stain on New Zealand history, and I do not want another generation to grow up with the trauma of seeing loved ones dragged away for no good reason.
“Earlier this year the Prime Minister said the Government would look at an overstayer petition launched by Pacific community leaders and migrant groups three years ago. Immigration Minister Michael Wood went further and said the Government is “actively considering” the issue.
“The time is now to make good on this and create a broad amnesty programme for people who overstay,” says Teanau Tuiono.
Green Party spokesperson for immigration Ricardo Menéndez March added:
“Migrants deserve to be treated with dignity and respect by our immigration system. But for many in our community, our immigration system has left them behind. They've fallen through the cracks, left vulnerable to exploitation, and denied the safety and security of a visa.
“Raids aren’t a new practice. I have worked with constituents who have experienced exploitation yet are raided and subsequently detained in prison until deportation.
“Migrants on temporary visa 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.
“An amnesty for overstayers will enable people and minors to fully participate in their communities and be better protected from exploitation,” says Ricardo Menéndez March.