Lawyers

The federal government is ignoring the “humanitarian disaster” of visa holders unable to reunite with households in New Zealand, the lawyer says – 1News

A loophole in the country’s border exemptions has resulted in visa holders feeling “devalued” by the system and more than a thousand relatives being denied entry, says a lawyer.

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Katy Armstrong says that despite the correct documentation, more than a thousand loved ones have been denied entry to New Zealand. Source: Breakfast

Nikhil, who asked that his last name not be used, told Breakfast today that he moved to New Zealand for the first time 14 months ago in hopes of living a better life as a software consultant for his wife and young daughter.

He has requested the government several times for his family to be exempt from the Covid-19 border measures, but every time they have been denied.

“When I came she was about five years old,” he said of his daughter. “She has just turned six. I missed her birthday. I missed her teeth falling out. “

Even with the right documents to give families exemptions during normal times, they are stuck in a void with no possibility of reunification.

Last year his wife signed Covid-19 in India and although she is better now, Nikhil was faced with a tough decision on whether to stay here or return to India.

“At the time, I didn’t know what to do. I had the option to retire, but I didn’t have a job. I didn’t have a job so I couldn’t give my daughter the future we have.” always dreamed of it. “

In order for families to have access to New Zealand under the government’s border measures, they must have visited New Zealand in the past year.

But since Nikhil spent most of his time in the country with closed borders, he had very little ability to do so.

Immigration lawyer Katy Armstrong says he is not alone.

Information obtained under the Official Information Act revealed that 1,092 Visa nationals such as Nikhil’s wife and child were denied access.

She says the government missed its opportunity to reunite these families at the start of the pandemic before the number of cases skyrocketed.

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Sandeep Singh says today’s announcement came as a shock to the community. Source: 1 NEWS

“There have been moments in the last year when it was perfectly possible to bring these people together, but we squandered them,” she said.

“Why did we reach a point in April 2021 where we still have no limit to safely navigate when we have a humanitarian crisis on our hands?”

With yesterday’s announcement of a temporary ban on travelers from India, Armstrong says, many feel “lifted out” when their case numbers rival those of the United States, Britain and Brazil.

“When you have such a ban, people in these countries will feel absolutely exceptional for having similar ones [coronavirus] Pay to other countries. ”

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The Covid-19 response minister says “we need to understand why”, so many people come sick from India but not from other high-risk nations. Source: Breakfast

During a separate appearance at breakfast today, Covid-19 Response Secretary Chris Hipkins said that while there are other Covid-19 hotspots around the world – like the United States – not as many people from those countries arrive at the infected border with the virus.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reiterated Hipkins’ answer.

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When asked today if Ardern had misled kiwis by telling them they were always welcome home, she said “absolutely not”. Source: 1 NEWS

But Armstrong is urging the government to put in place a schedule for families like Nikhil, who have “been waiting in the wings for a year” while others are granted exemptions.

“Let’s not forget, it’s not that we don’t have people coming to New Zealand. We have all these entertainers and these athletes and they have seen these people come in over their heads and they really feel devalued Time.”

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