Auckland, June 30, 2018
A small but strong group of international Indian students was unfairly deported last year after months of protests against the National Party government.
The students came to New Zealand on legitimate visas issued by INZ.
The unscrupulous agents that students trusted had attached fraudulent financial documents to visa applications without students’ knowledge.
The students were supported in sanctuary by the Auckland Unitarian Church along with many other churches, unions, social justice organisations/individuals and Migrant Workers Association.
During sanctuary, the students were also visited and shown sympathy by many Labour party members and promised a thorough investigation into the matter should Labour form government.
Soon after being deported the students requested the Chief Ombudsman to investigate the unfair deportations caused by unlicensed, unscrupulous education agents and onshore dodgy colleges.
Chief Ombudsman’s report
The Ombudsman has released his report last week after 15 months.
Associate Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi has been asked to intervene in cases of seven deported students. Four out of seven students were in sanctuary at the Unitarian Church.
INZ has been ordered to investigate 213 cases of deported Indian students and report back to the Chief Ombudsman within four months.
Appeal to government
Only 11 students were brave enough to fight for justice. But due to their bravery, many more students stand to get a fair hearing.
We are slowly heading towards victory and justice.
We also call upon the government to deliver justice and let the students return to New Zealand to complete their education and one year’s work experience.
Anu Kaloti is Spokesperson of the Migrant Workers Association based in Auckland
File Picture of protest over deportation of Indian students in 2016