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Labour's deportation record appalling

Hon Lockwood Smith MP National Party Immigration Spokesman

15 April 2008

Labour's deportation record appalling

Labour's record on deporting immigrants who have committed criminal offences is appalling, says National's Immigration spokesman, Lockwood Smith.

"Under the Immigration Act, people who have been granted residency in New Zealand can be deported if they are convicted of serious criminal offences within 10 years of arriving in New Zealand.

"Latest figures show that 282 people have been eligible for deportation since January 2000, but Labour has only deported 76 of these people.

"In one case, Labour refused to deport a man who committed two counts of indecent assault - the most recent of which was committed when the man was out on parole for the first indecent assault - aggravated robbery, assault, drug offences, multiple counts of burglary, robbery and theft.

"Even the police requested that this man be deported.

"National supports and encourages a healthy immigration policy. Most immigrants make a valuable contribution to our society and our economy. But if these people commit serious criminal offences which affect law-abiding Kiwis, they should be deported.

"Labour is taking a slack and irresponsible approach to immigration, the rule of law and victims of serious crime."

ENDS

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