Immigration, Immigration and Immigration!
Indianz X-Press, 1 July 2017
A day does not go pass without immigration being at the forefront of media discussion.
From the various discussion and conversations, immigration is mooted as the root cause of most of our problems – Auckland’s overcrowding, unaffordable housing, a lack of jobs for New Zealanders, overuse and pressure on facilities and so on. Some have gone as far as blaming the international student market for this, whose voice continues to be silent! What can they say? They are the dispensable category.
Student Visa New Zealand – Come get it
The pendulum has swung. Not too long ago the inflows were applauded, our survival during the global financial crisis was somewhat attributed to this. It provided a reserve and the international student scene was the love of the nation as it was bringing in tons of money through export education. In fact, reaching the $5 billion target was the new vision. It was said that this population spend and allowed this money to be in circulation allowing business to prosper. Furthermore, trade shows and other initiatives in various offshore locations were being carried out, and I believe is still being carried out to attract others onto New Zealand.
If what is mooted now has substance, then there has been a serious disconnect. Why?
Why is this disconnect possible when we have a government think tank, large government policy divisions collectively who are paid huge amounts to forecast these very issues and implement strategies to prevent negative outcomes. Do we have a collective that have been asleep and not doing what they were tasked to do or have they been ignored? Is the love affair with the international student scene over? Is the new trend of immigration bashing a political ploy to gather votes?
The reality is nothing has changed. It is all the same and was always very predictable, and yet current discussion coveys as if it has become a real problem now. In my view, the real problem is not what is happening now, but our hunger for monetary gain that has blindsided us. The social issues are and were predicable.
Student visas for money
In the international student scene, this category was viewed as a money-making scheme and a commodity for New Zealand divorced from the humane component and its humanness aspect. Even though acknowledged, the social impact was mitigated because of its income powers contributing to the disconnect now seen.
The powers that be need to think this through and be transparent in their dealing; we cannot avoid having an attitude of “I will have my cake and eat it too”. Because whether we believe in it or not, a karmic law is at play, and if we have messed with young lives, silently have encouraged rouge operators to sell a dream to the vulnerable and those desperate and inclined to believe in it, then ultimately we are accountable, because we have allowed this situation to arise. Distancing ourselves, or having a different rhetoric now, will not lessen the responsibility.
Immigration system that exploits
We must not forget we are separated by boundaries, nations, race and religions but collectively as a human race we are one and interconnected. Nothing goes unaccounted for – we cannot divorce ourselves from the pain endured by a system that exploits. Because whether we like it or not, that is what the system is doing – whatever guise or justification one may want to put on to it. We are all in it together and the consequences will flow in one way or the other to each of us in this country in some form or the other. Just wait for it to hit!!! Nobody will go untouched, that is how the universal law works!
Not a 1 in ten
The reality is that you cannot divorce monetary gains from its human aspect. If humans are involved, you cannot treat them as numbers. Social issue considerations become a major part of the overall assessment; otherwise a flawed and disconnected situation arises, as is now transparent.
(Kamil R. Lakshman is a Lawyer and a social activist. Views expressed are personal).