The decision by Immigration NZ to deport a young family back to the Philippines for forging food vouchers during lockdown last year is a punishment that is extremely over the top for such circumstances.
“Mr Santos wasn’t eligible for the Covid Income Relief Payment and any other type of government support during the first lockdown last year as his visa didn’t allow for it. Himself and his family needed to eat and so he did what he needed to do in order to survive. Feeding your family shouldn’t be a crime and he’s done nothing wrong” says Auckland Action Against Poverty Coordinator Brooke Pao Stanley.
“They’ve already set up a life for themselves in Aotearoa and they deserve to stay. The Philippines has one of the strictest military lockdowns in the world, it’s hard to find work there and having to relocate on Christmas day is an extra kick in the face.
“Our Immigration system was designed to favour certain types of people with skills and wealth over others – this is an example of that.
“If we’re a team of 5 million – where’s the compassion for Mr Santos and his family? We’re calling on the Minister Kris Fa’afoi and associate Minister Phil Twyford to intervene and let Mr Santos and his family stay in Aotearoa. We’re also calling for changes to the Immigration system to allow migrants to easily access government support should they need it. It’s never a crime to feed your family”