Our recent experience with providing the Indian students with sanctuary has been a rich source of reflection for me since we said our farewells to them. And I know I’m not alone in that as I listen to conversations at morning tea. And not just for us, if comments of colleagues from other faith groups are any indication. Even the head of Auckland’s office of Immigration called this week to ask if we could have a coffee to unpack the experience. Continue reading Unitarians Seeking Sanctuary→
On Saturday, 18 February the Indian students, having had confirmation that all legal and political avenues to challenge their deportation orders have been exhausted, held a final public meeting to thank all their supporters and members of the Auckland Unitarian Church for giving them sanctuary. They are currently making arrangements to return to India voluntarily. Continue reading Farewell Meeting→
The students have now returned to India, but the fight continues to support this group of students to achieve the educational and work related goals which they were expecting when they came to NZ. Please give what you can via our givealittle page.
On 5th February our church considered an emergency request by Indian students for support from the congregation. The students are facing deportation from New Zealand and were asking for “symbolic” sanctuary. The idea of sanctuary, where a religious building can be used to protect those sought by the authorities, is an ancient practice but has no standing in NZ law. So, more specifically, the students were asking to be provided a place to stay while they make their case in the court of public opinion. This request was made last Thursday through a Catholic deacon involved in peace and social justice matters. It was clear from our conversation that all their appeals to Immigration NZ had been exhausted and other options were not apparent. Continue reading Indian Students facing deportation.→