A community-meet organised by the Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway earlier today in Auckland has sadly, not brought much-anticipated hope for the tens of thousands of migrant workers stranded overseas. 

The Indian Weekender was present in the media-briefing by Minister Lees-Galloway, who was also accompanied by Priyanca Radhakrishnan Labour MP & Private Secretary to Minister for Ethnic Communities earlier this evening in Auckland, where the Minister reiterated on the government’s views on keeping borders closed, even if that means keeping temporary migrants who are ordinarily resident in New Zealand outside of the country. 

The Covid-19 border closure has kept tens of thousands temporary work visa holders on the other side of the border with no certainty of coming back to New Zealand. A significant number of those temporary workers have limited visas and jobs here in New Zealand, which is in jeopardy of being lost if they are unable to make it back to New Zealand in time. 

On being asked categorically, if the Minister had any new announcement or relief for the temporary migrants stranded overseas, Mr Lees-Galloway said that temporary workers stuck overseas may lose their jobs and their visas, as Immigration New Zealand cannot open the border or offer them the amnesty or guarantee of their visas being validated or extended, as and when the border closure is lifted in the country.