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Security 'risks' here to stay

Marie Hasler National Immigration Spokesperson

28 November 2001

Security 'risks' here to stay

Immigration officials today conceded that any asylum-seeker found to be a security risk could not be effectively expelled from New Zealand, when questioned by National's Immigration spokesperson Marie Hasler at a parliamentary select committee today.

"The decision to take the Tampa refugees was in fact a decision to take these people on a permanent basis regardless of the authenticity of their credentials.

"The Government has a duty to the New Zealand public to make these consequences completely clear and widely understood, but they have failed to do this.

"As the Transport and Industrial Relations committee heard, unless agreement was reached, and travel documents provided by the country of origin, it will be impossible to return a person to that country.

"New Zealand is responsible for the detention and security of any asylum-seekers who did not fit the refugee criteria, and the costs involved in that process. The Government must explain to New Zealanders why," Ms Hasler said.

Ends


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