Immigration confirms it will deport one of the Indian students seeking sanctuary
One of a group of Indian students facing deportation is to be sent back to India after being detained by Immigration.
The news comes after a group of students said they and 190 others had been ripped off by Indian immigration agents, who lied on official forms without their knowledge.
Immigration New Zealand area manager Alistair Murray confirmed that one of the students was being held in custody after being picked up in Auckland on Wednesday morning.
Travel arrangements were being made for him to leave New Zealand.
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Immigration NZ wouldn't comment further for privacy reasons but did say that anyone facing deportation had the opportunity to leave voluntarily.
Meanwhile, the lawyer representing the students said he received word that Immigration New Zealand would not be detaining the remaining students on Wednesday.
"It could be tomorrow, or the next day, we don't know", Alastair McClymont said.
He said that Immigration were still encouraging the students to leave voluntarily.
McClymont challenged Immigration to lay charges. "If these students are being accused of fraud, then why are they not being seen in court?"
The rest of the group and supporters have sought asylum at a central Auckland church.
Reverend Clay Nelson of the Unitarian Church in Ponsonby said he had received news on Wednesday that one of the students had been detained at his house that morning.
The students had been sleeping at the houses of members of the congregation and had been advised not to go home.
The male student who had been detained was reportedly at his own house.
The nine students and a toddler have been staying at the Unitarian Church in Auckland's Ponsonby since last Monday, in symbolic sanctuary.
McClymont said the group needed the chance to have their say in a courtroom. He said he believed a judge needed to determine whether or not the students had intention to defraud.
McClymont said deporting the students sent the message to India that it would be students who would suffer - not agents.
"It's a con job - blaming the victims and letting the perpetrators keep operating," he said.
He said he knew some involved in the fraud were New Zealand citizens and questioned why the schools were still operating while the students were being punished.
He said the schools involved were showing no compassion. "Schools are making millions from this so they are scurrying for cover ... students are just dollar signs who walk in the door."
Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse has said that people were ultimately responsible for the accuracy of their visa documentation.
He said it was no excuse for the students to claim they were unaware of their agents' activities.
Immigration NZ's general manager for visa services, Steve Stuart, said last week the students had exhausted their options to remain in the country.
They have been invited to leave voluntarily, or "arrangements will be made for them to be deported".