Assault victim gets visa reprieve

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) confirmed last fortnight that it would ask the Tauranga District Court to release Satinder Kapila from the Waikeria Prison, where he has been held since October 2011 pending deportation from New Zealand for being an overstayer.

Following her husband’s arrest, police and immigration officers forcibly obtained the fingerprints of his wife Pooja causing injury, in order to complete applications for Indian passport.

Consequently, complaints alleging unlawful were made against all officers involved. Separate investigations by the Police and INZ found that officers had exceeded their powers in the manner in which they obtained Mrs Kapila’s fingerprints.

After the investigation findings were released last fortnight, Mrs Kapila told the authorities that she did not want any disciplinary action taken against the officers as she realised that they were just trying to do their job. She also said that they had acted in good faith, although they had caused her injury.

She said she was grateful for the personal apologies she received from the Police and INZ.

One-day Visa

INZ has confirmed on February 1 that approval had been given for grant of one-day visas for Mr and Mrs Kapila and their 14-year-old daughter Simran.

Their nine-year-old son Abhay is a New Zealand citizen.

The significance of one-day visa is that it allows the family to appeal to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal explaining their humanitarian circumstances, especially focusing on the rights of their New Zealand citizen son.

I congratulate the Police, INZ and Immigration minister.

I have fought for the rights of citizen children with overstayer parents to be treated in accordance with the decision of the Supreme Court in July 2009.

In that decision, the Court ruled that in such circumstances the child’s right to live in New Zealand with its overstayer parents should take precedence over the right of INZ to deport the parents, as long as there were no public interest factors against the parents.

A precedent

As far as I know, this is the second decision in the past two months wherein one-day visa was approved for overstayer parents.

The other was the well-publicised case involving the children of Balvir and Meena Kumar when their seven and five-year old children protested inside the debating chamber of Parliament.

The Kumar family have lodged their appeal and are hopeful of an eventual favourable outcome.

I believe this is a sensible and inspired option as it allows the families opportunities to present the merits of their individual family situations to the appropriate forum, namely the Immigration and Protection Tribunal.

I am happy with the integrity shown by the Police and INZ during their investigations, reinforcing the New Zealand’s status as the least corrupt country in the world.

It is one of the reasons for so many people migrating to this country.

Tuariki Delamere is a Licensed Immigration Adviser at the TDA Immigration and Student Services based in Auckland. Email: tuariki@delamere.co.nz

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