Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Immigration Act review under way Swain confirms in House

Immigration Act review under way Swain confirms in House

Immigration Act review under way Swain confirms in House
Wellington: Immigration Minister Paul Swain has confirmed a review of the Immigration Act is under way, after more questions about illegal immigrants were raised in Parliament yesterday.

New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters wanted to know why an illegal Iranian was still in the country despite having court orders against him because of violent behaviour, as well as a deportation order since June 2003.

"Not only has this man proven he is a threat to society, but he has conned the Inland Revenue Department into helping him with his book-keeping for his illegal business activities and is evading child-maintenance obligations," Mr Peters said.

Mr Swain said the Iranian man's ability to remain in the country was one of the reasons the review was under way.

"I am not happy with this procedure that is in place and [am] looking to tighten it up," Mr Swain said.

The review would ensure the Immigration Service could co-operate with other government agencies such as the police, and enter the appeal process against the removal of illegal immigrants.

"I am currently reviewing the Immigration Act to, among other things, improve this collaboration [between the Immigration Service and other departments] and the removal process generally."

Mr Swain said people who broke the law should not be entitled to the protection of the appeal system against deportation orders.

"The fact that they have abused New Zealand law or immigration service [means] they should go immediately," Mr Swain said.

Mr Peters was unimpressed, and said the review would not address the abuse by a swindler who had been "handed on a platter" to the service.

Mr Swain said the service and the police had agreed on ways to share information.

He has previously signalled he wanted a review of the Immigration Act, but has not announced what it will cover, who will do it and what the timetable is.

One News last night reported it had tracked down the Iranian immigrant to whom Mr Peters in Parliament.

"Immigration officers have been scouring Auckland for months for the man at the top of their most-wanted list," reporter Guyon Espiner said.

" One News found Mr [name suppressed] late this afternoon."

The man said he wanted to stay in New Zealand.

"I would love to give me another chance, a second chance to review my life and look at it the way it should be," he said.

"I'm another human; I'm not any different to another human in New Zealand." - NZPA

Wednesday, 16-June 2004


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