15 Feb 2017

Arrests of Indian students called off

3:30 pm on 15 February 2017

A group of Indian students facing deportation have been told they are safe for today, but their future remains uncertain.

Tears of joy from Indian students facing deportation, as word spreads that immigration officials will not come today.

Students celebrate after being told Immigration New Zealand will not be taking any action today. Photo: RNZ / Brad White

Ten people, including students and their family members, have been staying in Ponsonby's Unitarian Church during the day in a final bid to stay in the country.

Deportation orders were issued after it was found the students' India-based education agents submitted fraudulent documents on their behalf.

Immigration lawyer Alastair McClymont said one student was arrested this morning in Blockhouse Bay, where he had been staying for the night, and is to be deported on Friday. The rest thought they would be picked up today.

However Mr McClymont said he had been told by Immigration New Zealand that it was not taking any action today.

He said it may happen tomorrow or another day, or Immigration New Zealand may wait for direction from the Immigration Minister.

Mr McClymont said the students would stay at the church indefinitely.

Tears of joy from Indian students facing deportation, as word spreads that immigration officials will not come today.

Tears of joy from Indian students facing deportation, as word spreads that immigration officials will not come today. Photo: RNZ / Brad White