19 Jul 2009

Meeting creates work for immigration lawyers

8:32 pm on 19 July 2009

A strong turnout of Tongan overstayers prepared to talk about their immigration status at a meeting has provided two months worth of work to a group offering illegal migrants free advice.

The manager of Wellington's Immigration Legal Support Trust, lawyer Richard Small, says the 50-strong group of illegal immigrants gave his team good information on Friday night.

Mr Small says the team will now ask Immigration New Zealand for case files and see what progress can be made on their status.

He says not everyone will be able to remain, but good legal advice may see the overstayers avoid penalties.

A Tongan community leader, Hola Taue, says the meeting was well attended because Immigration New Zealand gave an assurance no arrests would be made.