Reactive refugee quota demands

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.



  1. MaureenW

     /  January 31, 2017

    Trust the Herald “.. 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…”

    The countries included in the Immigration Executive Order (Obama’s Executive Order – Trump just added Syria to the list), are all countries the US has bombed directly or indirectly for the the 8-16 years.
    I don’t recall reading any outrage in the Herald about US bombing in Syria or Libya et al, in fact I had to go to overseas, alternate media sources, to understand exactly what the US was doing in these countries either directly, or via proxies. The concern is that as the US has been bombing the shit out of these countries, and some of their citizens/nationals may want some retaliation should they get on US soil.

    But back to the Herald, “We have a chance to show the world there is another path ..” What does that even mean when they’ve ignored the US invasions of other countries for well over a decade?

  2. Anonymous Coward

     /  January 31, 2017

    One thing I haven’t seen in all of this is some figures of how many people from these countries have managed to get green cards or visas since 2011. (I’m deliberately leaving out refugees as they are processed by the United Nations primarily).

    The outrage would suggest that this ban is stopping the free flow of individuals, but the level of scrutiny these people would have been going through would have been very intense.
    I get the outrage, I’m appalled at how sloppy the execution of the order was, but I can’t imagine that it actually affects very many people at all.

  3. Conspiratoor

     /  January 31, 2017

    Putting aside the predictable hysterics from angry libs and old media, it is good to see the level of support from joe america

    To put this in perspective Trump has, as he clearly signalled in the campaign, simply put a 90 day ban on until border control can verify that their refugee vetting processes are rigorous enough to filter out ISIS jihadis.

    Why act with such imprudent haste? These things by their very nature must be implemented quickly. A 60 day delay while he consults with everyone down to the tea lady would result in a flood of arrivals from the countries he’s trying to manage. It’s easier to manage the hysteria than have to deal with a flood of arrivals from jihadi incubator zones

    • Gezza

       /  January 31, 2017

      It’s not a bad idea to talk to the Immigration Authority lawyers early on so you don’t have to get your legal advice from the judge.

      • Conspiratoor

         /  January 31, 2017

        Just as they are here G, left wing judges are part of the problem. And I have to say I’m missing blazer. At least he could position himself at the lunatic fringe with incisive wit and some classic rejoinders. I hope he gets over Sir Als taunting and hurty feelings and returns to the fold soon

        • Anonymous Coward

           /  January 31, 2017

          You should try incisive wit from your own lunatic fringe maybe.

          • Conspiratoor

             /  January 31, 2017

            Not bad ac, you’ll do as a ring-in until the blazer returns. Cheers,c

        • Can I place that “incisive wit” under the heading “subjective opinion” please? 😉

    • Anonymous Coward

       /  January 31, 2017

      2 things:
      1] 60 days is a nonsense figure, where do you get that from? Trump’s ‘what if’ was a week. The practical solution : not having let those 109 people get on the planes and spark up however many court orders.

      This isn’t about refugees, UNHCR vets refugees, it’s about immigrants that are processed by the US for Visas and Green Cards. (Homeland Security classifies them as Family-Sponsored Preferences, Employment-Based Preferences, Immediate Relatives of U.S. citizens, Diversity, Other)

      • Gezza

         /  January 31, 2017

        It’s making me wonder if codename rabies is planning a big spike in US Marine Ops in all these countries, leaving their deserts littered with $60m V-22s

        • Anonymous Coward

           /  January 31, 2017

          If Israel wasn’t smack in the middle I’m sure they’d nuke the place.

      • Missy

         /  January 31, 2017

        Incorrect, it is about Refugees as well (see my comment below), you are wrong to say the UN vets refugees – they don’t.

  4. Extraordinary, universal and suicidal reaction to Trump’s temporary halt on migration from the countries known to be exporting jihadists. As Islam’s holy scriptures say, “Whoso migrateth for the cause of Allah will find much refuge and abundance in the earth, and whoso forsaketh his home, a fugitive unto Allah and His messenger, and death overtaketh him, his reward is then incumbent on Allah. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.” (Koran 4:100, tr. Pickthal). And as Muslim leaders themselves say, “Islam will invade Europe and America.” (Muhammad Mahdi Othman ‘Akef, of the Muslim Brotherhood.) Those who want more evidence should read Solomon and al Maqdisi’s ‘Modern Day Trojan Horse: Al Hijra, the Islamic Doctrine of Immigration, Accepting Freedom or Imposing Islam?’

    Despite there being no mention of ‘Muslim’, ‘Islam’ or any country except Syria in Trump’s executive order, today’s Dominion’s page 2 headline says, “English: ‘Muslim ban not the NZ way’” illustrating the Muslim / terrorist link and support for Muslims despite the well-established link. This is indicative of Westerners’ failure to grasp the significance of the relationship between, and intensity of, Muslims and their religion. The Cato Institute’s reference to terrorist risk is limited on several counts. It does not take account of thwarted terrorist attacks which would decrease the ratio, nor does it consider the role Islam plays for both Muslims and terrorism.

    The Muslim world considers the West to be effete, in both its etymological and modern meanings. The actions of Trump with this order plus the proposal to move the US embassy to Israel’s capital indicate a display of strength against the Islamic onslaught. As Osama bin Laden says, reflecting an Arabic axiom, “When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature they will like the strong horse.” You can read more of this concept in Lee Smith’s book ‘The Strong Horse: Power, Politics, and the Clash of Arab Civilizations’.

  5. Anonymous Coward

     /  January 31, 2017

    Good to see their not going easy on those towelheads just because they’re on 5 years old.
    Luckily we’ve got Spicer to tell us that “It Would Be ‘Misguided and Wrong’ NOT to Handcuff 5-year-olds”

    • MaureenW

       /  January 31, 2017

      The Huffington Post is headed down the dunny with the NYT. I wonder which will flush first?

  6. Iraq’s Kurdish hipsters launch clothing brand to show they’re not all about war.

    • Brown

       /  January 31, 2017

      Pfffft… these are not real Muslims (you only need to look at the women) and are on the hit list for when the fundies have finished with the infidels, Jews, Christians etc… So much pillaging to be done, so little time. We come in peace, shoot to kill. History repeats because we never learn.

  7. Missy

     /  January 31, 2017

    Anonymous Coward above wrote the following two statements:

    “(I’m deliberately leaving out refugees as they are processed by the United Nations primarily).”

    “This isn’t about refugees, UNHCR vets refugees,….”

    Both statements are incorrect.

    There is a difference between process and vetting, and the UN does assist in the processing, but refugees are not primarily processed by the UN. The UN do not vet refugees.

    Individual states have the primary responsibility of determining a refugee’s status, and processing them, not the UN. The UN will do this when a state is unable or unwilling to process and determine Refugee status, this has increased recently due to the increase in volume of those claiming refugee status – but it still remains primarily a state function.

    Vetting is done completely by the state to determine if the individual poses a security risk to the country, the UN has no control over this.