A Hastings Indian family with three New Zealand-born children is facing deportation.
The couple have been in New Zealand for 11 years but have been overstayers since their permit expired in 2003. Their three children, Hemani Mall, 10, and 6-year-old twins Gaurav Mall and Gagan Malla, are NZ citizens and have the right to stay, but Mrs Rani said she could not bear to leave the children behind.
Two weeks ago a removal order was issued for the couple, and Mr Mall taken into custody. The kids have not been able to see their father since. Mrs Rani collapsed at home after hearing of the initial order yesterday, and was unable to make any comment.
The family would be forced to live in squalor in India, as they come from the "untouchable" caste. They would live with relatives in a village in the Punjab, sharing a house with no sanitation or cooking facilities with two other families. With no land, they would have no income. As the children are not Indian citizens, they would not even be able to attend school or have access to medical care.
While the kids want to stay in New Zealand, they want to be with their parents above all else. Hemani: "I just want to stay with my mum and dad." The parents' pleas to be allowed to stay in New Zealand have so far been declined by Associate Immigration Minister Kate Wilkinson. This decision goes against the established law in similar cases.
MP Craig Foss has asked Ms Wilkinson to review the case. The Hastings Mayor has said that the family will have much support from the community. Human Rights Commissioner Joris de Bres said the rights of children had to "override all other considerations" and any decision that could split up a family was "patently absurd".
Green MP Keith Locke has urged the government to "show compassion ... it's not as if their parents have committed any great crime...why not let them stay?"
Socialist Aotearoa will push for union support for the family's fight to stay in Aotearoa. This brutal deportation should be opposed by every worker who wants to fight for a multicultural society. Please sign the online petition below sponsored by the Sri Lankan Students Association, the Indian Students Association, Afrotago, and the Fiji Club.