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Politicians should not make immigration decisions

25 May 2005

Politicians should not make immigration decisions: MP

Green MP Keith Locke today expressed concern that the Government's review of the Immigration Act could give politicians more powers.

"It worries me when Paul Swain says that ultimately an Immigration Minister, rather than a neutral tribunal, should decide if someone is expelled," said Mr Locke, the Green Party's Human Rights Spokesperson.

"Refugees and other migrants are entitled to go through a proper legal process and not be summarily ejected for reasons of political expediency.

"I hate to think what will happen to asylum seekers if Winston Peters ever becomes Immigration Minister. He is a prime illustration of how politicians can be part of the problem, rather than the solution, when it comes to determining the status of migrants. He has repeatedly called for refugees to be kicked out on the basis of limited, often inadequate, information.

"The Zaoui case has demonstrated how we need more due process in the immigration system, rather than relying on what a Minister is told by government agencies like the Security Intelligence Service.

"I call on Mr Swain not to be panicked by the anti-refugee bigotry fostered by Mr Peters," said Mr Locke.

ENDS

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