One of the reactions to the US immigration restrictions imposed recently has been to demand an immediate increase in New Zealand’s refugee quota.
Some of those making these demands have previously demanded a decrease in overall immigration.
It has become common for demands based on news events, both national and international. It is not a good idea to rush into implementing knee jerk policies – especially considering the irony of the strong criticism of Donald Trump rushing his new restrictions.
Mr Little has described the US policies as bigotry, and the Greens say New Zealand should speak out when “injustice” occurs overseas.
Both parties have reiterated their pledge to double New Zealand’s refugee quota, currently set at 750.
It was Labour and Green policy to increase the refugee quota anyway. Little and James Shaw – see Greens would double refugee quota as priority – is using the Trump media attention for opportunistic attention seeking.
It’s not just opposition MPs grandstanding by making refugee demands. Peter Dunne via The Spinoff: NZ’s response should be loud and clear: what is happening in Trump’s America is an outrage
We need not just to boldly condemn the current US approach, but to act, by doubling in our refugee quota, argues Hon Peter Dunne.
And in a Stuff editorial: New Zealand must condemn President Trump’s bigotry
With condemnation of Trump’s action around the world, we would be in good company to oppose his policy in any way we can. Reviewing the quota of refugees accepted into New Zealand would be a good place to start.
While Trump’s immigration restrictions have been rushed (deliberately) and poorly implemented, and are highly questionable, he made it fairly clear during the presidential campaign and since then that he would do something like this.
And there is quite strong support in the US for Trump’s poll, according to a poll.
While President Donald Trump’s executive order blocking immigration from seven Muslim-majority nations sparked protests and confusion across the U.S., almost half of American voters are in favor of blocking immigration from “terror prone” countries, according to a newly released poll.
“American voters support 48 – 42 percent suspending immigration from ‘terror prone’ regions, even if it means turning away refugees from those regions,” states a press release from Quinnipiac University, which questioned 899 people by calling their landline and cell phones in early January.
The poll reflected the strong anti-immigration and anti-refugee views held by Trump supporters in Northeastern Pennsylvania, a region that was crucial in the president’s surprise victory last year.
While many find the policy repugnant, and there have been some awful examples of ‘collateral damage’, the US can do what it wants to.
Bill English was slow and slack in responding yesterday, and while he said it wasn’t something that would happen in New Zealand, he was more too diplomatic for some critics who don’t have to try to work with Trump and the US.
Immigration can be a tricky thing, and changes to our policies shouldn’t be rushed every time opposition MPs and media demand it.
NZ Herald has a different slant in Time for a kinder immigration debate
Donald Trump built his presidential campaign around the idea that illegal immigrants were the cause of America’s woes.
Now he has acted on that idea, bluntly and with chilling consequences for many innocent people whose only crime seems to be coming from a country he does not favour.
It is vital that New Zealand doesn’t follow this path towards radical policy change based on unfounded fears.
This country has been experiencing record immigration.
The gain of more than 70,000 long-term arrivals in the year to November surpasses the raw numbers arriving at the height of the colonial era in the 19th century.
So there is something to talk about. The face of New Zealand is changing.
But there is an ever-present risk of xenophobia and outright racism in raising this debate.
To point the finger at immigrants themselves for the pressures that population change may bring is either lazy or cynical.
If there was a sudden increase in refugee quota other MPs would be trying to make an issue of it, like Winston Peters. And if refugees happened to have Chinese sounding names and wanted to buy property Labour might make an issue of it.
There seems to be good grounds for more Government research on the issue. Just as there are good grounds to debate current policy in the coming general election.
But we should be wary of politicians who look to make gains by targeting any one segment of our population based primarily on who they are and where they come from.
New Zealand should strive to be better than that. We have a chance to show the world there is another path.
Doing things well usually takes time rather than responding to every knee jerk demand.