Appropriately, Good Friday was chosen by the National government to hammer another nail into Carolyn Dare Wilfred’s crucifix.
Carolyn is a Canadian citizen now living in Germany. She has been exiled from her husband, Harmon, and their home in Lincoln, for the past twenty months.
In September 2015, with Immigration New Zealand’s (INZ) full knowledge and approval, Carolyn left NZ for what the Wilfreds supposed would be a short visit to her daughter in Canada. Within twenty-four hours of her departure, INZ issued an all-ports ban to prevent her re-entry into New Zealand.
Ever since, despite the existence of a visa waiver agreement with Canada, INZ has consistently refused to allow her back into the country to visit her husband. Her latest application, to be allowed entry on humanitarian grounds for at least a short conjugal visit with the husband she loves, was rejected by INZ’s London office at the end of last week.
The excuse proffered by INZ was that Carolyn had overstayed by 43 days her previous business visa, under which she had been living in Canterbury for the previous sixteen years. Her lawyers dispute this claim and say that the timing of her departure to Canada had been decided upon in full consultation with INZ.
Harmon, formerly an American citizen and CIA ‘Asset,’ has been stateless and without a passport since 2005, when his application for political asylum was turned down, lest offence be given to a powerful ally. Since then successive NZ governments have refused to regularise his status. INZ issued him with a deportation order in 2011, which, because of his lack of travel documents as a stateless person, cannot be enforced. In short, he can neither legally depart NZ, nor legally arrive in any other country.
Also, living under a deportation order makes it legally impossible for Harmon to apply for residence or NZ citizenship. He is therefore, as apparently intended, doomed to perpetual imprisonment in New Zealand’s gilded cage, perpetual separation from his wife and, seeing he is forbidden to take up employment, perpetual poverty.
As Harmon is unable to travel without documents and Carolyn is banned from entry into New Zealand, the loving couple, both in their sixties, face separation for the rest of their lives. Those members of cabinet responsible, who are well informed of this case, are ‘comfortable with the situation.’
There is a much bigger story behind this but a Press Release is not the place to tell it.