Auckland, August 21, 2018
The Migrant Workers Association of New Zealand has called for a protest meeting to ‘send a message to the Labour Government to fulfil its promise of bringing back international students deported to India by the previous government.’
Anu Kaloti and Sunny Sehgal of the Migrant Workers Association and Joe Carolan of Unions Auckland have called for the meeting at 630 pm today (Tuesday, August 21, 2018) outside the New Lynn Friendship Club, 3069, Great New North Road, New Lynn.
“We need to send a message to Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway and the Labour Government,” they said.
Ms Kaloti asked, “11 international Indian students were deported from New Zealand 18 months ago. What did they do to deserve that?”
“They came to New Zealand to get world class education and gain valuable work experience for one year upon graduating that is part of the package for all international students. The students were victims of unscrupulous agents that they trusted for making their visa applications. The dodgy agents had attached fraudulent financial documents to students’ applications without their knowledge.”
Outcasts in India
She said that the students are being treated like outcastes in India due to deportation.
Most of them are being hounded by debt collectors and some are bordering on suicide. In the process, a family has also been ripped apart – Asha, one of the students, was deported 18 months ago along with her two-year-old daughter. Her husband Vikram is in New Zealand, painfully awaiting to be reunited with his family.
“The 11 students need to clear their names so that they can get jobs and move on in life. The only way they can do that is by returning to New Zealand for one year’s work experience,” Ms Kaloti said.
“The Labour party promised a resolve to the students at that time should they form a government in September 2017. The students and their supporters expect the Labour government to show compassion and deliver immediately on the promises made by Labour 18 months ago,” she added.
The three unionists have quoted Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, the then Labour Leader Andrew Little and the then Immigration Spokesperson and now Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway as promising to overturn the deportation order last year.
“The Immigration Minister has failed these students and New Zealand for not exercising any discretion or common sense by rejecting their appeals. The students should simply have their applications assessed on the merits with those eligible being able to stay.
It is about time we had a Government that offers compassion and natural justice.” Mr Lees-Galloway had said.
File Picture by Radio New Zealand