National’s increase in the refugee quota is pathetic:
In other words, this is a triumph of spin: an ‘increase’ in the refugee intake that is virtually the same as the status quo, but counted differently.
It has already been described by Amnesty International as “shameful and inhumane”, while Double the Quota says that it “stinks of a Government that doesn’t care”. Yesterday the editorials weighed in. The Herald:
Pathetic lift in refugee quota needs rethink
New Zealand’s annual refugee intake of 750 was disgracefully low. An intake of 1000 is not much better. A doubling of the level, to 1500, as urged by Amnesty International and the Labour and Green parties, ought to be possible. The Minister of Immigration, Michael Woodhouse, points to the cost of ongoing support for those already admitted, many of whom are said to be still struggling to find work even after being here for up to 10 years. Doubtless a doubling of the number would mean much more than doubling the cost of refugee resettlement over the next 10 years. But the world is facing a wave of people fleeing from the upheaval in Muslim countries and all decent countries need to provide asylum for those in genuine danger.
We are extremely lucky. New Zealand is the only developed country that illegal migrants cannot reach under their own steam either by land or, realistically, by sea. We can, and do, restrict admission to those who have been vetted by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees as well as our own immigration and security agencies.
New Zealand can afford to increase its resettlement capacity and double its quota. It should be done.
Excellent points in that piece, read on in The Herald for more. Then, The Dom Post:
National’s decision on refugees is mean-spirited and callous
The Government’s decision to increase the refugee quota to 1000 is mean-spirited and risks being called callous. It is also very bad politics.
While millions flee civil war and oppression, John Key’s Government has decided to lift its annual refugee quota by just 250. Its excuses for this miserly decision, to use Peter Dunne’s phrase, are pitiful.
Australia, by comparison, takes three times as many refugees per head as we do.
But National’s refugee policy is also a stain on our reputation and equally “needs explaining”.
For John Key the failure is personal as well as political. He is the son of a Jewish refugee from Hitler’s regime. He, of all politicians in this country, must have some insight into what “being a refugee” actually means.
It is especially frustrating to hear Key talk about New Zealand values of tolerance and fairness. New Zealand’s record on refugees in fact provides little to be proud of.
Once again the full piece is highly recommended.
So, ball’s in your court Nats. Do you get the message? Double the quota.
— New Zealand Labour (@nzlabour) June 15, 2016