Monday, July 25, 2011

Immigration service supports domestic abuse

The New Zealand Immigration Service has a nasty record of cruelty and misogyny. They deport women for being pregnant. They try to deport Kiwis. And now they're trying to deport a woman for being a victim of domestic violence:

A woman who has lived in New Zealand for four years and left her abusive husband has been denied residency because of his convictions for crimes against her.


Timmons and her ex-husband, a plumber, and their two children arrived from London in 2007. He was granted a work permit and, in September 2008, lodged a residence application for the entire family under the skilled migrant category. Immigration New Zealand approved it in principle in February 2009.

The couple needed to send in their passports and a $1050 fee but Timmons left her husband before the process was completed. As a result, she and the children were illegal immigrants, and she was told she had to leave the country.

This seems to be a conscious policy of Immigration (here's another similar case from earlier this year), and its result is to enable domestic abusers and give them even greater power over their victims. To point out the obvious, abused women will be less likely to flee their abusers if it means being deported. But Immigration clearly doesn't care about that. Domestic violence isn't their problem, and its not on their KPIs.

This would seem to be a clear case where there are compassionate grounds for granting residency. But compassion is a virtue that Immigration and its associated tribunals are singularly lacking in. All they care about is kicking people out of the country, and they don't care about the damage they do to our society in the process.