Victim of OZ immigration review fights for migrants rights

Victim of OZ immigration review fights for migrants rights

Victim of OZ immigration review fights for migrants rights

A New Zealand man who arrived in OZ with his parents 30 years ago but was stripped of his rights by new immigration laws in 2001 is fighting for the rights of other Kiwi migrants in similar situations.

David Faulkner was six year old when he arrived in Australia, and was educated there, married an Australian wife and worked for Australian companies. Seconded temporarily to his company’s overseas office, he returned to Australia just prior to the 2011 change in immigration laws which removed migrants’ rights to almost all welfare benefits as well as the right to permanent residence.

The new rules, applied retrospectively to migrants out of the country at the time, left Kiwi immigrants with homes, families and businesses reduced to the non-status of temporary residents. David was not notified of the changes, only finding out in 2005 when he applied for citizenship.

His anger at immigration’s refusal was fuelled by a statement from the Immigration Department that the New Zealand government had agreed to the changes, a comment which provide to be a lie. When he decided to fight the discrimination, he discovered that the changes were unilateral, with no New Zealand government involvement.

David’s fight to reverse the law and allow permanent residency, welfare payment, benefits and other support to the many Kiwis caught up in the chaos has continued since 2005, albeit without much success to date. He told the New Zealand Herald that even disabled children were being denied assistance, adding that the law has created an underclass of immigrants who work, live and pay taxes with no chance of the security of residency and a welfare net or even a decent education for their children.

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