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No justification for mass detention Bill

Immigration Spokesperson

28 August 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT

No justification for mass detention Bill

Legislation allowing for mass detention of asylum seekers is unnecessary and a sad reflection on the National Government’s priorities, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Immigration spokesperson.

The Immigration Amendment Bill was reported back today from Select Committee with the Government recommending only minor technical changes.
The Bill is based on claims that there is an “on-going threat” of a mass arrival of asylum seekers by boat and enables the mass detention of such a group, including any children.

"The threat isn’t real. There’s never been a boat load of asylum seekers reach our shores.
And even in the unlikely event of more than 10 people arriving at once this bill is unnecessary. The Immigration Act 2009 gives the Government sufficient the tools to deal with such a situation.

Labour approached the Minister of Immigration seeking to discuss ways to avoid the waste of time and money and damage to our reputation as good global citizens this bill will cause.

“Sadly the Minister was not interested and has pressed on despite overwhelming evidence from submitters that the legislation was not needed.

“The Minister of Immigration has been carried away by spending too much time with the big boys in Australia and Canada instead of focusing on the real issues in New Zealand.

“The Government is trying to frighten New Zealanders unnecessarily and, in doing so, create division. It worked for John Howard in Australia, so the Government is trying it on here,” says Darien Fenton

© Scoop Media

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