National’s Immigration spokesperson doesn’t believe Behrouz Boochani qualifies for asylum in New Zealand.
The acclaimed author, who’s known for being detained in an offshore Australian Detention Centre, has been granted refugee status here.
He’s been in the country since November last year, after initially being granted a short term visitor’s visa.
Stuart Smith doesn’t understand how Boochani was granted a visitor’s visa in the first place.
“I have been contacted by immigration lawyers who say that people with good travel histories from Iran and Afghanistan are not given visitor visas, because of the risk that they would claim asylum.”
Smith doesn’t believe Boochani actually meets the standard.
“Because Boochani was a resident of Papa New Guinea, and had been accepted for settlement in the US, I don’t think he qualifies as a refugee.”