Friday, September 04, 2015

Action on refugees?

Public pressure to raise the refugee quota to help some of the millions of people displaced by the Syrian civil war and ongoing fallout from the US invasion of Iraq is growing, and now our political parties are responding, with not one but two members bills seeking leave for urgent introduction and passage next week. First, Labour has a bill to allow an extra 750 refugees this year as an immediate response to the crisis. And the Greens have one to immediately increase the annual quota to a thousand.

In terms of process, both will have to seek leave for introduction and swift passage, similar to that granted to David Seymour for his rugby meathead boozing bill. But as the Greens' Denise Roche points out.

“If Parliament can pass urgent law to allow bars to open all hours during the Rugby World Cup, then Parliament can pass a law with similar urgency that can save desperate children and their families.

Tuesday will see a serious test of our country's - and the National party's - values. Hopefully the government will make the right choice.

(Of course, if they don't want to spend Parliament's time on this, all they have to do is issue a new Immigration Instruction raising the quota. Which takes merely the stroke of a pen. And hopefully the prospect of these two bills will see that happen by Monday).