The Government’s announcement to open up MIQ spots for thousands of additional migrant workers is another kick in the guts for migrants already in New Zealand and waiting to reunite with their families, National’s Immigration spokesperson Erica Stanford says.
While the announcement of additional construction workers is good news for New Zealand, those workers will be able to bring their families while the maths teachers, engineers and construction workers who arrived before the border closed are still unable to bring their families after being split for more than 400 days.
We still haven’t seen a clear pathway of how this Government plans to reunite these split migrant families not covered by the narrow border exceptions announced last month.
These exceptions only covered a very small number of split families, and didn’t cover many whose visas were being processed but had not yet been approved, or families whose visas had expired.
Today’s announcement to bring in more workers and their families has caused further heartache for split families who haven’t been together for over a year.
Families still left in limbo will only lose further confidence knowing that there will now be fewer MIQ spots available for their loved ones, even if the Government decides to let them in at some point in the future.
If these migrants can’t reunite with their families, then they will have no choice but to leave New Zealand.
We can’t afford to lose the highly-skilled migrants who fill gaps in our workforce that we can’t otherwise fill. They are our doctors, our engineers, our construction workers, and our children’s mathematics teachers, they are desperately needed and valued more than ever.
The Government must not continue to ignore the plight of migrant families who remain split from their loved ones. A clear roadmap to reunification for these families is needed so they can have the certainty around when they’ll next see their partners and children.
Erica Stanford is National Party's Immigration Spokesperson.
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