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150 Queue Jumping Refugees Arrive in NZ

150 Queue Jumping Refugees Arrive in NZ

Friday 17 Jan 2003 Ken Shirley Press Releases -- Foreign Affairs & Defence

ACT Deputy Leader Ken Shirley said today that he was extremely concerned that 150 queue jumping refugees have arrived in New Zealand.

"I am extremely disappointed that 150 queue jumpers - predominately from Iraq and Afghanistan - have arrived by plane overnight in Auckland.

"The Government must take strong action and make sure the queue jumpers are not given residency. With the cessation of hostilities in Afghanistan, there is no reason why Afghanis cannot return home. These people have pushed ahead of genuine refugees, and we must not reward their actions.

"We know that the Tampa refugees paid $6,000 each to jump to the head of the queue, and we also know that many of those refugees have not settled well in New Zealand.

"Helen Clark's Government cannot continue to arrogantly set its own course on the international refugee problem. We must learn from our neighbour and friend Australia that, unless we take firm action, New Zealand will be inundated. There are hundreds of thousands of refugees in South East Asia alone.

"The Labour Government has no choice but to take the strongest action possible, if it is serious about protecting our country's borders and upholding international justice," Mr Shirley said.

ENDS

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