Shame on me if you fool me twice

Karel Sroubek image credit Newshub

I know we have all weighed in on this issue in the last few days, but most reasonable Kiwis are outraged that we are granting a residency permit to a criminal with gang associations who is in jail for drug offences. To be more accurate, he is serving a sentence for importing drugs with a street value of $375.000.

Sounds like just the type of new immigrant we want to bring here.

But there is an aspect to this story that has not been fully explored as yet.

Karel Sroubek was granted residency in New Zealand under a false name in approximately 2008. He had come here on a false passport, under the name of Jan Antolik.

Let us just think about that for a second.

I came here in 1984 as an immigrant. One thing was made clear. Do not put a foot wrong if you want residency and eventual citizenship. One slip and you are toast. New Zealand only wants people of good character and who are of value to society. No one else gets a chance.

How things have changed.

I really don’t know how his identity at the time could be checked, as he was using a stolen passport, but I was under the impression that NZ Immigration does exhaustive background checks on everyone that applies for residency. I remember a lady who had been through the process telling me that, by the time she had been granted her visa, the immigration department knew everything about her except the colour of her underwear… and then came the final questionnaire where she had to tell them that as well.

It was a joke, obviously, but I think you get my drift.

So, as far as I am concerned, the fact that he used false information to gain residency the first time should have meant that he would never EVER be granted residency again. No matter what his circumstances; that was what I was told in the 1980s. One false statement and you will never be allowed residency.

I know there are apparently ‘human rights’ issues here but people had human rights in the 1980s too.

How does the immigration department deal with this? From?Stuff: quote.

Steve Campbell and his partner?Chiching?Tong, from Hong Kong, have been trying for several months to secure Tong permanent residency.

Their most recent application was declined because Campbell had already reached the limit of sponsoring two residency applications ??a previous one by Tong,?and one by his ex-wife.

Campbell said on Monday Lees-Galloway’s decision to grant Sroubek?permanent residency “disgusts me beyond belief”.

Tong had previously had residency for three years, Cambell said. However, in June it was cancelled because Tong accidentally failed to list a previous name of hers on an immigration form. end quote.

Failing to give a previous name can cancel your residency visa, but giving a completely false identity can result in you being granted residency a second time? quote.

The couple was forced to sell their small business in Milford, Auckland, and Tong had?returned to Hong Kong.

“We’ve lived together for seven years, we’re very much in love, and the only way to see her now is to travel to Hong Kong.”

The couple would now?appeal to the Immigration Protection Tribunal?at a cost of thousands of dollars.

“Give decent people a chance who are worthy and?deserving – not convicted criminals like this,” Campbell said. end quote.

So who would you rather have as a resident? My choice would definitely not be the Czech.

I know that there are clearly human rights issues that have ‘forced’ the hand of Immigration NZ, but I do not see that this should mean that he can flout all of the rules and still be granted residency. There are millions of people out there who are more than capable of doing the same thing, and our laws need to be robust and applied robustly. He must have known the risk he was taking by using a fake identity. I don’t care if his life is at risk if he goes back to his home country. He is clearly resourceful enough to make his way to somewhere else.

I do not want people like him as citizens. I do not want him here. He moves in the circles he does by choice. Let the chips fall as they may.