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Government Refugee Policies Not Working

News that 1800 asylum seekers who've been refused refugee status are still living in New Zealand, shows this government's refugee policies are not working, ACT leader Richard Prebble says.

"In Australia, would-be asylum-seekers are held in detention camps until their applications are processed. But in New Zealand, asylum-seekers are free to come and go as they please, with no incentive to speed up their application.

"By the time their application is turned down, officials don't even have their address. We are, as the Australian Immigration Minister has repeatedly warned, a soft target.

"It's no good Phil Goff issuing statements about 20 years jail for people-smugglers, when it clearly pays for people to enter New Zealand illegally.

"It's also disturbing that despite the amnesty for overstayers, there are now more than 14,000 of them. I note this anti-business government blames employers. It's not employers' job to run the immigration service.

"Questions have to be asked about how the overstayers got a visa to come to New Zealand in the first place.

"This isn't a minor matter. In Auckland this year, some 2000 secondary pupils arrived at school to find no teacher because the government hadn't prepared for the huge influx of migrants. And now we learn a significant number of these migrants are here illegally.

"Two thousand pupils whose education is suffering, is a huge price to pay for this government's poor administration of the immigration portfolio.

"It's time the government stopped being politically correct and put the needs of New Zealanders first," Mr Prebble said.


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