Immigration New Zealand border control officers given new powers
A recent announcement by immigration New Zealand has confirmed that border compliance officers now have new powers to search and detain.
According to New Zealand’s Immigration Minister Nathan Guy, the new powers will be used if officers suspect an arriving passenger is attempting to enter illegally. Included in the new rules is permission for immigration officers to detain for a limited period those persons liable for deportation.
Officers will also be able to obtain biometric information and check with education institutes as to the attendance records and paperwork of their students. Guy stated that under the new rules, immigration officers would have similar powers to those of the New Zealand Police Force and the country’s Customs Agency.
The minister believes the rigorous training undergone by immigration officers at the Royal New Zealand Police Academy will ensure they are able to deal with diverse sets of circumstances. First aid, conflict and risk management and safe detention are three of the courses immigration officers have studied with the aim of acquiring quick-thinking skills enabling them to spot illegal immigrants or act quickly on information received from members of the public.
In a previous speech, Guy had urged citizens to come forward if they suspected a person was in the country illegally.In 2011, immigration officers concentrated on visits to agricultural areas, education institutes, residential premises and workplaces. Officers also assisted in voluntary deportations, served deportation notices and deported over 700 illegal immigrants.
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