Friday, July 06, 2018

Immigration's explicit racism

Back in April, we learned that Immigration was doing Precrime, targeting people for deportation on the basis of race, gender, and prejudice. Immigration of course denied and tried to downplay it. But it turns out they were using explicit racial profiling:

Immigration New Zealand has scrapped data and predictive modelling work it did to prioritise deportations.

The Privacy Commissioner and Human Rights Commission said they would work with the agency it if it developed technology or a similar initiative to the data-modelling in the future.

Documents obtained under the Official Information Act show Immigration New Zealand (INZ) set up a pilot scheme which targeted Indian students for compliance action, while the other dealt with all nationalities and visa types.


Other documents showed Immigration New Zealand's Northern area compliance team used a points matrix at its weekly meeting to prioritise cases for action, using Indians as one of its criteria for deporting offenders.

Targeting people for deportation because they were Indian is simply Trump-style racial profiling. It is absolutely wrong, and I am glad to see it stop. But will it really stop? Because the core of the problem here is that immigration officers appear to be racists, and ending formal racism may simply see them acting informally instead. An easier solution would seem to be to fire the racists who designed and fed this system, as their values are clearly incompatible with those of the government they are meant to represent.