Tongan communities in Gisborne are in chaos after Immigration Officials swooping homes of alleged overstayers in the area.
Peter Elms from Immigration New Zealand has this afternoon told NZ Kaniva Pacific that they have detained Tongans in Gisborne.
“Immigration New Zealand can confirm that as a result of enquiries in the Gisborne area, four Tongan nationals were taken into custody to arrange their departure from New Zealand,” Mr. Elms, the Immigration New Zealand Manager Fraud and Compliance, in his response to questions from NZ Kaniva Pacific.
An outburst of anger poured into the Tongan social media networks after finding out that the raid was prompted by allegedly reports to Immigration by immediate families of those overstayers.
‘Anaise Small from Pacific Law Ltd wrote on Face Book and said that they have received information that these overstayers have been purportedly reported to Immigration just by their own family members.
She alleged that a son and a daughter who overstayed their visas were reported by their own father and a brother.
Immigration New Zealand could not confirm this.
One of the comments made on Face Book by Tongans who found it hard to sympathize with the victims since the incident happened said that – Mate pe Tonga he ngaue ‘a e Tonga, contextually meaning that it is typical of Tongans who already had the chance to legally reside in this country to enviously watch on their friends or families who have yet to get the same chance and do anything they can to prevent them from getting it.
Last year a change to the Immigration law came into effect which it gives the immigration officers a power to arrest and detain overstayers for deportation.
Featured image by immigrationimpact.com