A life not worth $1500 a month?

Stop-deportation-white(1)

An young man is going to be deported to his likely death - to save the country $1500 a month.

The Dominion Post reported on 30 January that Aucklander Sanil Kumar, originally from Fiji, who depends on daily dialysis and is waiting for a kidney transplant has been given what the paper euphemistically calls an ‘ultimatum’: either he leaves or he will be deported.

For Kumar it won’t make a difference what the government calls it, because as the article explains, either way it will be his death sentence. He will neither be able to receive dialysis nor a transplant in Fiji.

Despite Kumar having a job (and therefore paying taxes), family members volunteering as kidney donors and supporters being busy raising money for the operation, Immigration NZ insists that Kumar is a burden to society and must go. The paper quotes an Immigration bureaucrat who calls herself the “acting compliance operations manager” as saying that the $1500 per month for his dialysis is too much to pay for a life: “all migrants must have an acceptable standard of health to minimise costs and demands on New Zealand's health services.” If they don’t minimise costs enough, they get the boot – no matter what the consequences. Such is the rationale of NZ’s immigration policy.

Kumar is not the only person to be deported from NZ. Since 2010, around 2500 people have been kicked out, the vast majority of them to Pacific countries. Almost 200 of them were under the age of 18. There are no official figures about how many of them were sick, but it is safe to assume that Kumar's is not the first case of this kind.

Kumar’s family is selling raffle tickets to raise funds for his treatment in the hope that some “compliance manager” at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (of which Immigration NZ is a part) will consider this a sufficient effort to minimise the cost of Kumar’s existence. The Dompost article ends with listing ways to donate money to help save his live. We think it is political pressure that needs to be applied to not only save Kumar’s live but also others. The Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse (whose favourite movie is “Die Hard”, according to his facebook page) can be contacted at M.Woodhouse@parliament.govt.nz.

No One Is Illegal

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Facing the prospect of being deported to your death because of medical conditions is definitely not new - over the years this has been the reality for many people. Facing deportation because of dialysis costs is too common - in many Pasifika countries there is no access to dialysis. Just last year there was the case of a 50 year old Tongan woman fighting a deportation order to death: http://tvnz.co.nz/content/221927/2591764/article.html
Deportations must stop.

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