This Labour-New Zealand First coalition government is only welcoming convicted criminals and not hard-working migrants or their parents - at least this is coming out from government’s separate responses to immigration-related, individual and policy issues.
While the govt has recently chosen to raise the bar for the requirement for getting migrant-parents in the country to unreasonable levels, almost on its discretion, it has been quietly letting convicted criminals in the country, and sadly, on the basis of their “discretion.”
After the infamous case of convicted smuggler Karel Sroubek being granted permanent residency in New Zealand earlier this year, Newshub has revealed today that another person with six convictions for driving with excess breath alcohol plus two convictions for driving without a licence, has been granted residency to live in the country.
An already under-fire Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway had come under further attack when Newshub revealed that another convicted criminal was granted Permanent Residency in the country under the special “Ministerial discretion.”
Earlier last week the government’s decision of re-opening of parent visa category also came under much scanner, as the salary requirement for migrants seeking to bring their parents was raised to whopping $159,000-212,000 bracket.
The announcement had generated huge emotions within the wider communities as many found the whopping salary requirement – a good three to four times the median wages of $53,300, unreasonable and beyond reach realistically.
Several members of the community who were earlier disgruntled with the government’s decision on parent visa expressed their further anguish on the exercise of Ministerial discretion in favour of convicted criminals.
“Ironically you are welcome if you are a Criminal, Drug lord or repeatedly Drunk driver. No worries no questions asked,” a seemingly exasperated Gaganpreet Singh commented on the Indian Weekender’s story on the facebook.
“It is disheartening to see that the government has different attitudes on the parents of migrant-workers and completely different for someone who are convicted criminals,” said another Gurpreet Arora.
In this regard it important to note that although the connection between the two issues (parent visas and exercising of Ministerial Discretion) is tenacious, yet there is nothing stopping the unassuming public from expressing their frustration on different attitudes on immigration-related matters.
Earlier, a group of members of the public had protested against the changes in the parent visa category at the Auckland Diwali Festival at Aotea Square on Saturday, October 12.
The protesters tested both the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the Leaders of the Opposition Simon Bridges while delivering opening remarks at the Diwali Festival.