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Stick Needed To Match Amnesty Carrot

22 August 2008

Stick Needed To Match Amnesty Carrot

New Zealand First supports the offer of amnesties to overstayers but says this approach must be followed with adequate deterrents to prevent future overstaying, says associate immigration spokesperson Peter Brown.

Mr Brown’s comments follow a report that Immigration New Zealand has launched a pilot program which sees the five year no-return period waived for overstayers who leave voluntarily.

“Any initiative that reduces the number of overstayers is commendable, but such an amnesty should be for a defined period of time and must come with a stick to match the carrot on offer” said Mr Brown.

“The Government should look to encourage current overstayers to leave and to deter future overstayers by substantially increasing penalties for harbouring and employing such people.

“If non-citizens are found to have helped overstayers, then they too should have their permits revoked.

“After years of pussyfooting around, real numbers of overstayers still hover at around 18,000. These people are all breaking the law, and it is time to we got serious about reducing their number,” said Mr Brown.


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