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Church leaders urge mercy for students

Leaders of New Zealand's Catholic, Anglican and Methodist churches have urged the Government not to deport Indian students caught up in an immigration fraud. 
• The church leaders' statement
• Indian students get day's reprieve
• Students to leave NZ and reapply  

New Zealand Herald   |  14 Feb 2017

New Zealand’s most senior Catholic has appealed to one of New Zealand’s best-known Catholics, Prime Minister Bill English, to reconsider plans to deport Indian students caught up in an immigration scam.

Cardinal John Dew has issued a statement, along with Archbishop Philip Richardson and the Methodist Church President, Rev Prince Devandanan, urging the Government to act on “our Christian responsibility to care for ‘the stranger, the widow and the orphan’ among us”.

The statement comes as 11 Indian students and their families who face deportation remain in the Unitarian Church in Ponsonby, which says it has given them sanctuary because of the Christian principle of “radical hospitality”.

The students have been issued deportation orders because their agents in India submitted fraudulent bank loan documents to prove that the students could afford to pay their tuition fees.

The Minister of Immigration, Michael Woodhouse, has declined their appeals to intervene in the deportation process.

For the full New Zealand Herald story, click here.

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