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United Future: Immigration changes a mixed bag

Media statement
For immediate release
Tuesday 5 December 2006

United Future: Immigration changes a mixed bag

United Future is pleased to see many of its recommendations taken up in the Immigration change programme, but is deeply concerned by the threat of biometrics, says United Future immigration spokesperson Gordon Copeland.

“There is some great stuff that has come through the discussions over the future of the Immigration Act.

“Specifically United Future promoted the establishment of an internal decision-making team for tricky residence cases within clear and limited guidelines, while the Minister retains the ability to make positive decisions.

“It is vitally important that the procedures Ministers and Members of Parliament follow are transparent and this is one area where, as we have seen recently, needs tidying up.

“United Future advocated for a simplified visa system, making deportation easier to understand and more efficient use of classified information.

“But biometrics remain a murky threat, especially as there is no detail as to what identity information will be collected.

“We’re also unsure about the number of proposals that have suddenly appeared in this latest document. They were not present in the original discussion document so they have not been open to public scrutiny. Instead we read about them for the first time today.

“These new ‘recommendations’ are especially frequent in the compliance and enforcement and monitoring and detention sections.

“So far, the changes to the Immigration Act are a mixed bag. We’re pleased about some, but there’s still much work to do," said Mr Copeland.

ENDS

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