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Govt must answer questions about Boochani

Behrouz Boochani’s continued presence in New Zealand raises a number of questions the Prime Minister and Iain Lees-Galloway need to answer, National’s Immigration spokesperson Stuart Smith says.

“Behrouz Boochani is thought to be here illegally since his 30-day visa expired last weekend, but the Government doesn’t seem interested in doing anything about it.

“If he’s not following the proper process, he shouldn’t be in New Zealand. The United States has accepted his resettlement application, but for some reason he hasn’t gone.

“Thousands of law-abiding immigrants who want to come to New Zealand have had their visa applications delayed or declined because this Government has dropped the ball on immigration, processing times have increased and even people whose whole families are New Zealanders are missing out.

“Meanwhile we’ve got someone who’s got a place to go in the richest country in the world, is thought to have broken the law by overstaying his visa and not followed the proper process, but it appears that because he’s written a book and has connections to Government MPs, the Government is doing nothing.

“New Zealanders should be able to trust that their immigration system is fair and not reliant on celebrity connections. Cases like this call that into question and it’s concerning because it’s something we’re seeing more and more under this Government.

“Jacinda Ardern and Iain Lees-Galloway cannot wash their hands of this case and blame their officials. They have an obligation to New Zealanders to be upfront and honest about why he is still here and any involvement they’ve had in his case.

“The Government needs to front up and answer questions about Behrouz Boochani.”

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