Phil Twyford’s call to cut immigration is unacceptable, says Migrant and Refugee Rights spokesperson/Wellington Central candidate Gayaal Iddamalgoda.
“We need a Left that will challenge xenophobia,” says Gayaal, “Rather than pandering to the logic that allowed Trump’s rise.”
Gayaal says that the notion of migrants as a strain is misleading. “Resource distribution is not a zero-sum game. Migrants are a net benefit to New Zealand in terms of GDP and taxes paid, not a strain on infrastructure.”
Gayaal says that there is a problem with exploitation under work visas, but this would be best addressed by ensuring that migrant workers have the right to organise for better conditions.
“As a unionist, I represent migrant workers daily,” says Gayaal. “There’s nothing inevitable about the race to the bottom, only solidarity can undermine that logic of competition, and improve conditions for everyone.”
“Divide and rule is the oldest trick in the book.”
The Migrant and Refugee Rights Campaign has called a May Day March for migrant and refugee rights in Wellington. The event will begin with speeches on Cuba St, midday on Monday the 1st, before marching on Immigration New Zealand to deliver a written statement. Groups participating in the march include Changemakers Refugee Forum, the Public Service Association (PSA), the International Socialist Organisation, Peace Action Wellington, Fightback and Doing Our Bit – Double the Refugee Quota.