New Zealand, which has long had a problem with illegal immigration from Southeast Asia and neighboring Pacific islands, is finding itself in an interesting position (and one the United States might like to have): visa overstayers are turning themselves in rather than try to live and survive at the mercy of unscrupulous employers and landlords.
According to the country's Department of Labour, the number of overstayers has been declining since 2004 and has declined from 15,880 last October to 15,760 this month. This might not sound like the country is taking great strides, but considering New Zealand's population is 4.2 million (or 1.36% of that of the United States), these small-looking numbers do add up.
In a recent report to the Immigration Minister, Immigration New Zealand (the nation's version of Immigration and Naturalization Services) attributed this downward trend to placing risk managers in "high risk" overseas immigration offices to weed out likely visa overstayers and vigilantly prosecuting individuals complicit in immigration fraud.
However, an adviser at Immigration New Zealand who did not wish to be named gave another reason for visa overstayers turning themselves in: "Many migrants with [the] intention to overstay come here thinking they are moving to paradise. But many later find out they have actually jumped from the frying pan into the fire. They live in conditions worse than where they came from, earn less and are left at the mercy of their employers or the people sheltering them. So, they think it is better to give themselves up than continue suffering."
Click here to read more about New Zealand's immigration enforcement success.
Updated: Mon, Jul 24th 2017 @ 2:25pm EDT