New powers for INZ officers to be closely monitored
New Zealand immigration officers will be given more power to monitor employers if a new bill is passed. However, there have been calls for greater checks to be put into place. Officers will be permitted to enter an employer’s home and search for documents as well as interview anyone within the residence without having to produce a warrant.
Labour and the Greens have voiced concerns about the Immigration Amendment Bill and have called on the government to include stronger monitoring. The reforms have been put in place following reports that temporary visa holders and international students have been underpaid and forced to stay on the premises of their employers. There have even been allegations of forced prostitution.
Immigration officers already have the power to enter premises in order to serve a notice of deportation. The new powers a far more wide ranging and allow access to dwellings and homes as well as business premises.
David Seymour, leader of the Act Party raised his concerns and Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse put the amendments forward to a committee this week.
These include better monitoring of the new powers and a requirement that Immigration New Zealand submits reports on how many times searches are made and how often these searches result in prosecution.
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