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Umi Asaka


Umi Asaka (she/her) is a disabled researcher and writer. She is a second-generation
disabled person sharing the same disability as her mum. She moved to Aotearoa from Japan
when she was 15. She organises with Migrants Against Acceptable Standards of Health
Aotearoa (MAASHA) to end the discrimination based on disability and health grounds within
the immigration system. She is passionate about building community of care and social

Migrant workers and Tiriti-based migration

Aotearoa New Zealand's immigration policy is underpinned by ableism, colonialism
and eugenics. Migrants are reduced for their economic value, and migrants and
refugees with disabilities and health conditions face discrimination. Under the
Acceptable Standard of Health (ASH) requirements, those facing this
discrimination and their families are deemed to be cost burdens to the state and
their inherent value and their contributions are not recognised. On the other
spectrum, only those with higher qualifications and income have the pathway to
residency. The human rights of migrants are explicitly denied as the Immigration
Act 2009, section 392, bars the Human Rights Commission from considering any
complaint with respect to visa immigration decisions.
These immigration policies contravenes te Tiriti o Waitangi and other international
human rights conventions that New Zealand government are signatory to. This
presentation is grounded in the lived experiences and advocacy of various migrant
groups. It envisions and calls for immigration systems that uphold te Tiriti o

Umi Asaka
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