The government is investigating the case of a Pasifika overstayer who was detained after a dawn raid in South Auckland last week.
The man’s lawyer, Soane Foliaki, said police showed up at 5am, scaring his children and taking him into custody – and though Immigration NZ has disputed the timing, it has admitted the early morning raid was not a one-off.
Two years ago the government apologised for the infamous dawn raids of the 1970s, and Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said he did not expect them to be happening any more.
There are two issues that are deeply concerning here.
The first and most obvious is for the Pacifica Community who are culturally traumatised by the reverberations of the racist Dawn Raids and sense of dread that came with it.
No one likes being offered work in NZ and then told they are no longer wanted when the economy turns, which was the whole political driver for the Dawn Raids.
That community see this as harking back to the bad old days that the Government had only recently apologised for.
The second issue that I think is the real problem here, is that the agreement previously with Immigration NZ had been that deportations wouldn’t be enacted or enforced if the person had a clear pathway to residency available to them.
The mans lawyer states that this is the case, so if that is true, if he had a legitimate pathway to residency, then why are Immigration moving against him, because it starts to feel more like the need to get some easy prosecutions than the actual following of policy.
While we are at it, we should be seriously considering an amnesty on Pacific Island overstayers because of our relationship with them and because Auckland is the largest Pacifica City in the world. Shadow communities can’t stay safe or healthy if they are constantly avoiding public services.
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