In an open letter to the New Zealand Minister for Immigration, the Green Party spokesperson for Immigration, Ricardo Menéndez March is asking for immigration reforms.

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New and better immigration laws

New Zealand Green Party member, Ricardo Menéndez March posted on June 12th, that the Green Party will deliver an open letter to the Minister of Immigration. Approximately 17,000 people co-signed this open letter, asking for immigration improvements.

In the opening statement, the party is asking more effective laws for migrants. March is arguing that the system does not benefit anyone but the wealthy. He is asking the minister to not interfere with the new policies that will make it more difficult for “low” skilled and low wage workers to immigrate to the country.

“Our vision for immigration is a system where migrants are respected as welcome members of our communities, not reduced to economic units,”-Menéndez March said.

Evolution of the rule and new demographic

Regional and Economic Development Minister Stuart Nash gives an immigration speech on behalf of Minister Kris Faafoi, on Monday night.

This growing resentment from the Green Party along with the signatories is coming shortly after a recent speech from Minister Stuart Nash. In a long conference, the minister explained the need of immigration reforms. Moreover Nash created controversy by suggesting a new demographic for the labour force from the immigration, and the implementation of more qualified workers, and wealthy investors.

“When our borders fully open again, we can’t afford to simply turn on the tap to the previous immigration settings,” Nash said, to an audience of industry leaders and economic experts at the Beehive.

These comments sparked outrage from the of people in Aotearoa (the Maori name for New Zealand) notably the Green Party. Menéndez March emphasized in his letter that the government must improve the current system and stir away from the upcoming new reforms. He acknowledged the current problems with the immigration policies, notably in term of residency.

“Migrants on temporary visas have no clear pathways to residency, are left dependent on dodgy employers, and are separated from their families and loved ones through rules that discriminate on wealth, nationality, and relationships.- March said in the open letter.

Several hundreds of people demonstrated on June 5th to voice their concerns about this “reset” of the immigration policies, including Menéndez March.

The protestors take a seat at a busy Queen St intersection. Protest against immigrations in Auckland on June 5th 2021

Daunting process and uncertainty

The immigration problems in New Zealand are not new. In New Zealand the immigration process is unpredictable, and since 2018 the wait time for visa has substantially increased. This is what the Green Party and Menéndez March are attempting to fight for, greater acceptance of immigrants and better handling of the current temporary visa process.

“Migrant communities are part of the team of 5 million, and it’s time for the Government to enable them to fully participate in Aotearoa.”-March said

This is a tricky situation for New Zealand, five percent of the its labour force are composed of temporary visa holders. This is the highest amongst the OCDE (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries.

Arthur Saint-Mleux

Originally from France, moved to Montreal 4 years ago. With a bachelor degree in International Studies with a Middle East focus. Enjoy sports, concerts, and travelling. Adopted a cat named Oscar.

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