Perhaps a little bored with the multiple National / ACT self-inflicted fiascos, the media (and the braying right-wing blogs of course) have been bleeding plenty of ink over Shane Jones’ actions in granting citizenship to a decidedly dodgy Chinese immigrant. Jones hasn’t really put his side of the story – until last night:
MP told immigrant would be ‘jailed and executed’
Labour MP Shane Jones has revealed why he allowed Chinese immigrant Yong Ming Yan, charged with making false statements to gain citizenship, to stay in New Zealand. …
As a minister, Mr Jones signed off on Yong Ming Yan’s application to become a New Zealand citizen, despite officials telling him not to. “I was told the execution of this man…that he would be executed…which is the reason the officials gave for him not wanting to go back to China.”
Mr Jones said declining it would have been like signing a death warrant. Mr Jones says he was told that Mr Yan would be “jailed, executed and his organs harvested” if he was sent back to China. “That to me comprised grounds for a humanitarian decision,” Mr Jones says.
He confirmed those were the words used to describe the situation. “When a Government official in a minister’s office says such a thing so graphic that I actually wrote it down.” …
Mr Jones says he would be happy for any investigation to take place into his role in this matter.
I’m glad Jones is open to an investigation. That’s the right course of action, and if he is found to have acted unethically he should go. But those who are prematurely calling for Jones’ head, and trying to turn the situation into an attack on Shearer, should now take some time out to consider their own actions. They should ask themselves if they, in Jones’ position, would have taken action that they honestly believed would condemn a man to death.
Politics is not always simple.
Update: Part of a post from NRT:
Shane Jones made the right decision
… Under those circumstances there’s a clear humanitarian case. So clear, in fact, that it would be unlawful to remove Liu from the country. We don’t extradite people to execution. We don’t deport them to it either. Any Minister in Jones’ position would have made exactly the same decision. And if not, the courts would have made it for them.