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Greens welcome end to discriminatory refugee ban

4 October 2019

The Green Party have welcomed the Immigration Minister’s announcement that the Government will drop the discriminatory ‘family link’ policy that excluded refugees in Africa and the Middle East from New Zealand’s refugee quota unless they already had family here.

“This decision gives us a principled refugee policy that puts fairness and inclusion first,” said Golriz Ghahraman, Green Party immigration spokesperson.

“I am proud to stand here with Minister Lees-Galloway today – in particular as a former refugee from the affected region, it was meaningful for me to work with the Minister in bringing about this meaningful change.”

“The Green Party were the only party to campaign on removing the restriction at the 2017 election.

“I want to thank the refugee community members, advocates and NGOs who spoke up for this policy change,” said Golriz Ghahraman.

“Many New Zealanders were outraged when Donald Trump’s Muslim ban was put in place, and even more so when they realised the National Government had quietly done something similar.

“We’re proud to be part of a Government that is demonstrating its commitment to the idea that human rights are universal – regardless of race, nationality or religion.”

“Today’s announcement sends an important signal to our refugee background communities from Africa and the Middle East – whatever their faith or ethnicity – that we welcome them and they are part of the enduring fabric of New Zealand society.

“It is a much-needed reassurance of the love and support that should always be at the heart of a welcoming Aotearoa.”

ENDS

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