Shocking update on Charmain Timmons’ fight against deportation

Why should Charmain Timmons and her children be deported from NZ because of crimes against her? Take action and sign the petition today.

As many of you will know move2nz has been supporting Charmain Timmons and her children through a campaign including facebook and a petition to help them avoid deportation from New Zealand which has attracted 1,042 signatures.

Background
Charmain arrived in New Zealand with her husband and two young children in December 2007. Many people migrate because of a problem and sadly some bring that problem with them. Charmain’s secret was that her husband was physically and emotionally abusing her.

In February 2009 the family was granted Permanent Residency in principle but the abuse was getting worse. Charmain asked for help and found the strength to leave the relationship. She got a protection order and started trying to build her life back again, moving and eventually beginning a degree course to become a much needed social worker.

Find out more/take action
You can help, please click on the links below to find out more:
‘Like’ the Facebook campaign
Sign the petition

Charmain’s now ex-husband breached that protection order and was convicted nine times spending six weeks in prison before leaving New Zealand.

Then a bombshell – in a crazy turn of events Charmain was told that because of her husband’s convictions as the principle applicant her Residency was to be revoked. The immigration department told her she wasn’t needed in New Zealand and should leave. Charmain asked again for help, but was poorly advised leading to deportation proceedings against her. Charmain’s final hope was an appeal to the Associate Minister for Immigration, Kate Wilkinson.

In the meantime Charmain’s ex-husband has been allowed to re-enter New Zealand on a two year visitor’s visa as he now has a New Zealand born girlfriend. While Charmain is being kicked out because of these crimes against her the perpetrator is bizarrely being allowed to stay.

move2nz became involved when we saw the headline Government tried to deport bashed wife. For Charmain and her children, now little Kiwis, to be deported because of the crimes against her seemed totally unfair. As we are not licensed immigration advisers it is illegal for us to help directly by advocating for Charmain but we had to do something and so we started our campaign which has now collected 1,040 signatures.

Action since July
I have been in constant contact with Charmain for the last couple of months, exchanging over 90 emails, but there has been no news to report while the Minister reviews the appeal. Charmain and her children wait but in the meantime a government case manager has been communicating with her.

The case manager advised Charmain to start a work visa application, leave the country and then apply to re-enter New Zealand to take up work. Charmain saw that there was no guarantee of being able to get back into New Zealand and resisted this, especially while her appeal was still being heard by the Minister.

What Charmain has told me recently sent me reeling and I had to update about this incredible twist.

Punish the victim – support the abuser
First Charmain’s ex-husband breached the protection order again and told her that he had been meeting with her immigration case manager and now knew everything about her private case. The case manager in question has denied this, however Charmain’s ex-husband does appear to know all about her private dealings with the immigration department.

Then Charmain received evidence that her ex-husband had applied to the family court for custody of their children should Charmain be forced to leave New Zealand temporarily as the immigration department had pressured.

Finally she was sent papers confirming that her case manager had told her ex-husband that he could apply for Residency, and if he did receive custody the case manager could lift the deportation order on the children and issue them with Student Visas instead. The same case manager who had adamantly stated he could not do this for Charmain.

So if the children are in their mother’s care, the innocent victim of family violence, they will be deported from New Zealand with her, back to a country they barely remember because of their father’s crimes. But if their care is passed to the man who abused their mother and has served time in prison as a result, they will be allowed to stay permanently in New Zealand with him.

This situation appears to be backwards, punishing the victim of violence while supporting the abuser.

A number of questions have now been raised about the way this case is being handled and the message New Zealand is sending to the world regarding attitudes to family violence and the rights of children.

What do you think about this?
Post your comments, or sign the petition to support Charmain and her children.

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One Response to “Shocking update on Charmain Timmons’ fight against deportation”

  1. Please fix New Zealand’s broken immigration system « move2nz: the blog Says:

    […] released immigration policies (including an Immigration Ombudsman which would mean people like Charmain Timmons won’t continue to suffer as they […]

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