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Just when you thought America had cornered the market on outrageously bad relationships with its immigrant population (read: a certain proposed fence), New Zealand shows up and raises/lowers the bar. They’re eyeing making deportation of immigrants de rigueur -- provided said immigrant is fat. That’s right, New Zealand is quite literally considering banishing fat people from its shores.
Take the case of South African chef Albert Buitenhuis. Of course, no one is coming out and saying “get your fat ass out,” but the intent is the same. What makes this all the more sucky? Because Buitenhuis is in the country on a work visa which includes his wife, she’s also being sent packing.
Oh you wacky kiwis. I’d be more surprised, but after all, this is the land where hobbits come from.
The case for the couple’s deportation is currently being appealed. The immigration authorities argue that Albert’s size violates an “accepted level of health.” Never mind that obesity isn’t one of the illnesses currently listed as being prohibitive by immigration in a nation that offers free health care.
The Buitenhuises argue that since their arrival in New Zealand five years ago, Albert has actually lost weight in a bid to lower his high blood pressure to alleviate pain from an existing knee problem.
But providing evidence that Buitenhuis is working on losing weight should not have to be the defense he brings forth, given that he is not being handled with honesty or respect. It isn’t Albert’s size that’s the issue - it’s the government’s concern about covering the health care costs of immigrants.
If I were a citizen of New Zealand, I’d have to start seriously boning up on my swimming classes, because if this is a real step the authorities are taking to save costs, could my own fat ass be on the line, citizen or no? Then again, maybe not. After all, as a portly miss, I could probably float to Australia on the power of the buoyancy my fatness provides.
It’s beyond shitty to me that if the government of New Zealand was going to pick a front to cover up their poor treatment of their immigrant populations, they had to go after the fat folks in their country. It’s not that far off from going after the kid whose nose is always running on the playground in elementary school.
Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that they are ignorant but well-meaning, and assume that being overweight is inherently problematic and a crisis they feel must be solved forthwith: shoving all the fat people into the ocean where you can’t see them is not effective problem-solving. It is also not very nice. If you can be kicked out of a country for fatness, where is the line drawn? I’ve come up with five other reasons to kick people out of your country that are as viable as kicking out the obese.
1. Goatee Havers:
It is a fact commonly known that those with facial hair must suffer the indignities of ingrown hairs. What if one of these hairs becomes infected and you must seek treatment from a doctor? Sure, assisting those with beards is one thing, but coming to the aid of those with this passe form of facial hair? I think not - BE GONE.
2. Pop Songwriters:
You may argue that these folks are contributing nicely to our nation’s economy, to which I might respond, what matter our fiscal health if the value of our artistic sensibility is at stake? Call Me Maybe? More like Call Immigration Definitely.
They broke our hearts into a million tiny pieces. It was sincerely a step away from him saying that he “cherished our friendship.” Look at him with his cute face and his bad attitude and his always making us laugh whether we want to or not, which ultimately just makes us cry - SHOVE HIM IN THE BOAT.
4. People Who Think Cats Are Just Okay:
You go straight to hell.
5. People Who Breathe On You On Public Transportation:
A crowded train is no excuse for you to do something as offense and audacious as breathe upon the forearm I have stuck right under your nose with little to no consideration. You need to transfer at the next stop my friend, AND GET THE HELL OUT.
What do you think of New Zealand’s tactics? Goatees? My twitter handle? Share and share alike in the comments, one and all!