Who should we let in?

"You're not welcome": PMHere are my thoughts about immigration. If we are going to have a policy for letting people into the country, the two key considerations should be a) human rights, and b) well, that’s pretty much it, really.

So, I would let people into New Zealand in the following order of priority:

  1. Refugees.
  2. People with such determination to escape their current country that they either build their own boat/raft and sail it across to New Zealand, or smuggle their way on to someone else’s boat/plane with a plan to prove that they are seeking asylum or refugee status when they get here.
  3. People with pots of money who buy themselves a plane ticket and a nice house beside one of our many un-crowded waterfront vistas.

However, if I were to say human rights didn’t matter that much, and instead presume that we should only let into our relatively un-crowded and well-off country those people who are going to contribute to New Zealand, then my order of priority would be based on how hard I suspected they would work once they get here, and how committed they would be to paying New Zealand taxes. Thus, my alternative order of priority would be:

  1. Refugees.
  2. People with such determination to escape their current country that they either build their own boat/raft and sail it across to New Zealand, or smuggle their way on to someone else’s boat/plane with a plan to prove that they are seeking asylum or refugee status.
  3. People with pots of money who buy themselves a plane ticket and a nice house beside one of our many un-crowded waterfront vistas.

So, I join with Amnesty International in cringing when I hear the Prime Minister telling Tamil asylum seekers “You are not welcome“. After all, by the looks of the photo on the front of the Dominion Post they seem quite friendly and keen to be here.

I accept that maybe a country with the bio-diverse legacy such as that New Zealand holds cannot just have people coming and going willy-nilly.  But, if we really are going to refuse to share our toys with all but a select few of the rest of the world’s residents, I personally think we are choosing the wrong ones. That is, we are currently picking the ones with the least human rights pressures to move here, as well as the least need to work had and give to their new home:

  • Successful refugees and asylum seekers to NZ each year – average of about 750.
  • Total successful permanent long-term migrants to New Zealand – over 30,000.
Advertisements

One thought on “Who should we let in?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s