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Taxpayer Funded Refugee Scams Continue Unabated

Taxpayer Funded Refugee Scams Continue Unabated Says Peters

The Refugee Status Appeals Authority’s latest report shows the Government is doing nothing to curb widespread immigration scams which are costing taxpayers tens of millions of dollars, New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters said today.

The authority’s annual report for the year ending 30 June 2002, points to a substantial number of appeals being found to be “manifestly unfounded or abusive” and most were part of a “well orchestrated scam” against the refugee determination process.

Mr Peters pointed out that the authority warned the Government last year that genuine refugees and the system itself had become the victim of widespread abuse. About 97 percent are unsuccessful after years of taxpayer funded legal proceedings. “Yet nothing has been done to clean things up by the do-nothing, scam-tolerating Minister and her dysfunctional Immigration Service.”

The annual report states the authority received twice as many appeals last year than the previous year, due mainly to the number from Thai nationals most of which “were without merit”.

Mr Peters said he wanted to know what these people were doing in New Zealand in the first place and why they were not deported immediately.

“What is this Minister doing to keep the system honest for the small number of genuine cases?

“Why should taxpayers keep forking out for people who are clearly not refugees but are trying to manipulate the system to gain New Zealand residence?

“The abuse of our immigration system has to stop now,” said Mr Peters.

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