The first of a total of 24 overstayers found to be living illegally in the Bay of Plenty are to be deported from New Zealand after appearing in Tauranga District Court this week.
A further ten are due to appear in Tauranga District Court today.
Judge Robert Wolff ordered the first seven; two mayalsians, Thai, Vietnamese and a single Tongan to return to their homelands on Wednesday and today when they appeared in court earlier this week.
Monday’s deportees include Sarawak resident Dian Shin Koh, who has been living in New Zealand since 2008.
He was ordered to return to Kuala Lumpur and was refused any change to flight details.
“Regrettably I cannot do anything about that,” says Judge Wolff.
Foulata Maama Vakelahi from Tonga has been living in New Zealand illegally since 2008 with her partner and child. She cried as she stood in the dock.
“The decision is made already in this case by the Minister for Immigration,” says Judge Wolff.
“You have been an illegal immigrant for some time.”
Vietnamese women Thu Nguyen and Thi Vu appeared together in the dock with Nguyen asked to translate for Thi Vu, who is unable to speak English. There was no Vietnamese interpreter available.
Thu Nguyen was to be deported almost immediately, while Thi Vu was to remain in custody in Auckland awaiting travel documents.
The judge hoped there would be an interpreter available in Auckland for Thi Vu.
Thai deportees Surachai Sirisai and Chalersinsin Chankasem appeared in the afternoon when the Thai interpreter was available.
They were both ordered to return home.
Sook Yeoh is also to be deported today to Kuala Lumpur.
Illegal immigrants appearing today inlcude nine Indians and a Malay picked up in Te Puke earlier this week.
Immigration New Zealand says it takes a pro-active approach to locating migrants who are unlawfully in the country. It will investigate employers who have employed migrants in breach of their visa conditions.
INZ Compliance Officers working in the Bay of Plenty have located 24 overstayers of different nationalities over the last two weeks.
The 24 people that were found by INZ’s Compliance Officers were located throughout the Bay of Plenty region. The nationalities and dates they were located are:
26 – 27 April 2012
30 April - 1 May 2012
1-2 May 2012
They have to appear before a judge within 96 hours.
All deportation decisions are made on a case by case basis where INZ considers the persons unique personal circumstances.
INZ says it will continue to assess information received to determine whether or not these people were employed unlawfully.
Employers that employ migrants that are not lawfully entitled to work for them can be prosecuted, and, if convicted face a penalty of up to $50,000 (under both the 1987 and 2009 Acts).
INZ welcomes information about people breaching their work visa or allegedly committing an immigration offence and encourages people to come forward with information that will allow us to identify and locate people who are working unlawfully.
INZ also encourages people who are unlawfully in New Zealand to contact them to discuss their circumstances and determine what the best option is for them. They can contact us on our freephone 0508 55 88 55.
For further information contact the DoL media line on 0274 422 141 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org