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Greens join call to create special visa for Palestinians

The Green Party stands with more than 30 organisations in urging the Government to urgently set up a special visa pathway for Palestinians.

“The situation in Gaza is worsening by the day and it is the duty of the Government to do all it can to aid those in need. I am calling on the Minister of Immigration to initiate a special visa pathway for Palestinians,” says Green Party spokesperson of Immigration Ricardo Menéndez March.

“This is a matter of life and death. Palestinians are being left to languish in catastrophic conditions deprived of food, water, medicine, and any hope. Our Government could be doing so much more to help.

“It is clear the current visa pathways are failing Palestinians, with millions facing displacement, loss of livelihoods and life without a realistic pathway to safety.

“New Zealand provided special visas for Ukrainians impacted by Russia’s invasion and assisted Afghans to resettle in New Zealand when the Taliban returned to power. The same offer should be extended to Palestinians facing displacement who aren’t able to enter Aotearoa via the existing pathways.

“It took the current Minister of Immigration fourteen days to criticise the Labour Government for not implementing a special visa pathway for Ukrainians impacted by the Russian invasion. Meanwhile, the conflict in Gaza has been going for months and Minister Stanford has not introduced the equivalent visa.

“A special visa pathway, with greater diplomatic support to leave Gaza would enable people to find safety, saving lives while we work to secure an enduring ceasefire. This visa could act as a lifeline for so many families currently at risk.

“The situation in Gaza is evolving at a rapid pace and any further complacency from the Government will mean more lives we could have saved are lost, more families we could have protected are torn apart and more children are unnecessarily exposed to life-changing trauma.

“Aotearoa must act now. A failure to act would be a failure to honour our collective values and history of standing in solidarity with those in need,” says Ricardo Menéndez March.

 

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