Saturday, 15 May 2021

Good news for split migrant families? Govt poised to announce new border exemptions

Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi is poised to announce a set of new border exemptions in a bid to help reunite more migrant families.

The announcement is almost certainly going to be aimed at split migrant families – workers who came to New Zealander but were separated from their families because of Covid-19.

Earlier this month, many of them gathered outside Parliament urging Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to “be kind” and allow their loved ones to come into New Zealand.

“We are asking for Jacinda and all the Government to listen to us, to be kind and [allow] us to reunite with our families again,” Patrick Tedeschi said.

“I’m here to make our voices heard,” Tedeschi said.

He told the Herald that he had left everything in his native Brazil – where his wife and children are currently “stuck” – and he hasn’t seen them for more than a year.

“We don’t know what do to,” Tedeschi – who is a software developer – said.

Speaking to reporters after the protest, Faafoi said the families would not be getting an answer that day and urged them to have “a little bit of patience”.

“It’s a difficult situation because the border is closed, for a reason,” he said, citing managed isolation spacing issues.

He said the Government was considering what could be done to help those impacted.
This morning, he is expected to make that announcement.

This will come as welcome news to those who have been calling on the Government to make a change.

National’s immigration spokesperson Erica Stanford has been one of those pleading the split migrant workers’ case.

“This unfolding crisis in New Zealand is a stain on our society and is an affront to the mantra of kindness that has been [put forward] by our Prime Minister,” she said at the rally last week.

“That fact that you haven’t seen your children and your partners in a year is abhorrent.”

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