Thursday, June 04, 2009

Vile and discriminatory

That is the only way to describe the Immigration Service's decision to cancel the visas of women who become pregnant in New Zealand. This is one of the most fundamental forms of discrimination against women, and it would be utterly illegal for, for example, an employer to sack someone because she was pregnant. But apparently, its OK to deport them (and in the process potentially foul up any future travel, since countries are quite antsy about admitting people where any other country has cancelled their visa).

Immigration's excuse is the strain on our maternity services. I would suggest that we fund them properly then. Because this "solution" is indecent and fundamentally immoral.

(I would add that I trust Immigration's assessment of the state of our maternity services or the strain put on them by paying customers about as far as I can stand the smell of them. This is a department which seems to look for any excuse, no matter how vile and inhuman and morally indefensible, to throw people out of the country or lock them away in indefinite detention forever. But that affect the key point here, which is that if our services can't cope, we should fix them, rather than engaging in this sort of vile, discriminatory behaviour).

As with Ahmed Zaoui, we are supposed to be a better country than this. This sort of policy belongs in the dark ages, not in a modern, liberal democracy.