Cunliffe Explains Immigration Flip-Flop In Yadegary Case
Scoop News: NZPA has reported that Immigration Minister David Cunliffe believes Iranian asylum seeker, Thomas Yadegary, would be safe if deported back to Iran and that he accepts immigration officials' assurances of Mr Yadegary's safety.
The report details how Mr Cunliffe maneuvered a complete reversal of opinion since 2004 when he wrote to the then Associate Immigration Minsiter, Damien O'Connor, fearing for the asylum-seeker's fate should he be deported to Iran and requesting that Mr Yadegary be free to live in New Zealand.
The current Associate Immigration Minister, Clayton Cosgrove, recently turned down Mr Yadegary's latest application for a discretionary visa.
NZPA reports that in 2004, Mr Cunliffe stated a key test applied by United States authorities was whether a refugee claimant was likely to maintain an active faith in Iran if returned.
"But Mr Cunliffe today said he was not aware of all the facts when he made his initial representation. 'I'm aware of a whole range of facts now that I was not aware of then and I have confidence in the process the department is engaged in,'" NZPA reports.