KASAMA Vol. 15 No. 1 / January-February-March 2001 / Solidarity Philippines Australia Network


New Zealand's Labour/Alliance government has decided to get tough on "overstaying" migrants, and the very first people Immigration officials chose to immediately kick out was a Filipino family, the Milas, of Auckland.

They were rounded up in an October 2000 dawn raid on their home, taken straight to the airport and put on a plane to Kuala Lumpur, en route to Manila.

Whilst they were in the air, the old proverbial hit the fan. It turned out that they had a perfectly legal appeal still before the Removal Review Authority, and that Immigration officials had lied to their Minister, Lianne Dalziel, about the time of day of the raid.

Ever since Piggy Muldoon's notorious 1976 widespread dawn raids on suspected Polynesian overstayers, dawn raids on brown migrants have been a political no-no. Dalziel attacked her officials in Parliament, and ordered the Milas brought back. They duly were, the same day, rather befuddled about the whole thing.

They remain here subject to appeal. Once again, dawn raids have been banned.

Reprinted from: Kapatiran, 18 Dec. 2000, Philippines Solidarity Network of Aotearoa