Occasionally something will drive me to blink back tears of sadness and frustration.
The story of the malformed baby from Samoa is one such case.
The community raised $100,000 to get her to NZ after a plastic surgeon said it was worth having a look at what might be done for her. The Immigration Department, after taking their own advice, refused her entry to New Zealand.
Nobody is asking the government for money. A young baby has zero chance of becoming an over-stayer. All her parents want is a definitive assessment which they cannot get in Samoa. But Immigration says the child cannot enter the country.
Witness the power of the state at its worst.
Today's Taranaki Herald has written on the subject. Well said;
Miracle baby deserves our help
Taranaki | Monday, 31 December 2007
Rules, rules, rules.
Some people and organisations live by them and follow them to the very letter. And not even Christmas or compassion can sway them from adherence to that tight, strict path, says the Taranaki Daily News
Our immigration department is one such organisation.
Even though it has been revealed to be extraordinarily incompetent in its application of those rules, with largesse and officiousness thrown around in equal abandon when it considers cases involving Pacific Islanders, there's still no room for leniency for a little girl named Miracletina.
She's a four-month-old baby born in Samoa with incredible, pitiful deformities: no top to her brain, no eyeballs, a double cleft palate, no fingers, deformed feet and spina bifida.
It's a miracle that she has survived, and family have fed the baby girl against doctors' advice. But not only has she survived, she is healthy, can raise her head and responds to family members.
Now she needs our help.
And we have slammed the door. Thanks, but no thanks. Sorry, says our immigration department, we've looked at your case and it doesn't meet our criteria. Nothing we can provide will do any good.
Fair enough, you say. Our hospitals and medical specialists are over-burdened enough, without taking on the cases of other nations' citizens, no matter how touching and needful.
But these are not people coming to us for a handout. This is not a family and a community who have simply tossed their hands into the air and said they've done all they can do and now it's up to someone else to sort out the mess.
The family have raised the not insignificant sum of $103,000 in the Baby Miracle Appeal in Samoa and New Zealand. That's people in this country who have pledged to help this child, this family to deal with what is an awful misfortune; helped towards a campaign to send this unfortunate child and her family to New Zealand, if even just for an examination.
But still our officials say no.
We believe that's not on, and the immigration officials need to take a cold, hard look at themselves.
This family doesn't want charity, although they definitely deserve it.
They have made a huge effort to help themselves, which already puts them above the many others in this country happy to get something for nothing.
This family is saying to New Zealand that there is something you can provide that will be of some good.
And that's hope.
Given what we have in this country compared to what's available in many Pacific Islands, surely that's not too much to ask, is it?
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