The New Zealand government kicked off a pilot program 18 months ago that uses data collected through the country's visa application process to determine firstly those in breach of their visa conditions before deciding who should be asked to leave.

Speaking on Radio New Zealand[1] this week, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway explained that the process seeks people that are "over-stayers" or are in the country unlawfully due to breaching visa conditions, rather than filtering people based on their age, gender, and ethnicity.

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"This is not about trying to predict who will commit a crime, this is about looking at the over 11,000 people who are in New Zealand unlawfully and prioritising where best to use Immigration New Zealand's resources to make sure that they are deporting the people who impose the greatest risk to New Zealand," the minister said.

"We need to maintain the integrity of our immigration system and where people are in New Zealand unlawfully ... then we need to be doing everything we can to make sure these deportations go ahead."

Rejecting the idea the data-collection project is racial profiling, Lees-Galloway said Immigration looks at a range of issues, including at those who have made -- and have had rejected -- multiple visa applications.

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