NZ expat Mum facing deportation without her children

NZ expat Mum facing deportation without her children

NZ expat Mum facing deportation without her children

A Nicaraguan mother legally married to a New Zealand citizen and with three children is leaving New Zealand alone in order to avoid deportation and prohibition from re-entering the country.

Sisi Cifuentes is planning to fly to the USA where she has legal residency, leaving her children behind with her husband, from whom she separated 18 months ago.
The couple met and married overseas and lived in the USA for some years before emigrating to New Zealand in 2006.

Her husband, a former international model, has joint custody of their three children and is a New Zealand national, but the official paperwork for his wife’s citizenship application was not completed before the seperation. Sisi was given a visitor’s visa but when she applied for an independent work visa she was turned down.

Desperate to stay with her children, she enlisted the support of MP Jacqui Dean, who involved the office of the Associate Minister of immigration in seeking an exemption via the Minister, Nikki Kaye. According to a spokesperson for NZ Immigration, Kaye is still considering Sisi’s case and has asked for more information.

However, Sisi is tired of fighting and plans to leave for the USA before she is issued with a deportation order which prevents her from returning for a period of years. Her husband has not consented to her taking the children with her, forcing her to make a court application for their legal removal.

Lawyer Graham Hill, acting pro bono for Sisi, says he’s appalled that a mother should be forced to leave her children due to bureaucracy run riot at immigration. He adds that the country’s immigration policy does not recognise the human rights of children to be with their mother, and believes the Minister should award Sisi resident status.

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