Residency granted to convicted drug smuggler

Credit: Carmen Bird

Labour and New Zealand first both campaigned on reducing immigration in New Zealand. The Labour party website tells us that ‘Migrants bring to New Zealand the skills we need to grow our economy and vibrant cultures that enrich our society’.  Sounds good, doesn’t it.  So it was very surprising to read on Stuff that a criminal scumbag currently in prison has been granted residency.  Quote:

A convicted drug smuggler has been handed an unprecedented get-out-of-jail card: instead of being deported after serving his prison sentence, the Government has granted him New Zealand residency.

Minister of Immigration Ian Lees-Galloway has made a special decision to grant the 37-year-old Czech national residency, even though he came to New Zealand on a false passport and is now serving time in Auckland South prison for importing drugs with a street value of $375,000.

Karel Sroubek​ fled to New Zealand with a friend’s passport in 2003. He claimed he was on the run from corrupt cops after witnessing a murder. Under the name Jan Antolik he built a new life as a businessman, a representative-level kickboxer, and a Hells Angels associate.

When the law caught up with him, he admitted his criminal ties in the Czech Republic – but he seemed unable to escape old habits with several brushes with NZ Police over the past 15 years.  End of quote.

Why? Why on earth have we granted residency to someone who clearly has no respect for the law ?  Quote:

[…] Lees-Galloway confirmed he had granted Sroubek residence subject to “significant conditions,” and after careful consideration of all information available to Immigration NZ.

He would not say why he had granted the drug smuggler residency, or reveal the conditions.

“For privacy and legal reasons, I am unable to disclose this information, or comment on specific details of the case,” he told Stuff.

“It’s not a decision I’ve taken lightly.”

The Minister of Immigration has “absolute discretion” to prevent deportation and grant residence – legally, such decisions cannot be applied for, the minister doesn’t have to consider any requests, and doesn’t need to explain their reasons.[…]

[…] The National Party on Sunday called on Lees-Galloway to explain what immigration spokesperson Michael Woodhouse said appeared to be “a disgraceful decision to grant residency to a violent gang associate convicted of importing drugs into New Zealand”.

“Mr Lees-Galloway will not say why he made the decision to grant residency, nor what the conditions of his residency are,” Woodhouse said.

“The information I have on this case does not come close to any threshold where special consideration should be given by the minister.”

Massey University’s Professor Paul Spoonley said he was scratching his head over why Sroubek was given residency.

Considering his serious crimes, and history with the law, if there were exceptional circumstances that warranted keeping here the public needed to be informed about what they were.

“There have to be important reasons why you would not deport, particularly when the person has proven not to be a good character,” he said.  End of quote.

I just don’t understand why we wouldn’t be deporting this guy at the first opportunity.  Tell me, Iain Lees-Galloway, how does this person enrich the culture of our country?

 


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