New Zealand has won plaudits from around the world for its response to the Christchurch mosque shootings that left 50 dead. Its care for the survivors went a step further Tuesday, when the country offered permanent residency to everyone who was at one of the mosques last month during the attacks, as well as the immediate relatives of people who were there. Many of them currently have temporary work or study visas and have urged the New Zealand immigration agency to give them certainty about their immigration status. The agency believes the move will cover about 190 people who will have their their applications for permanent residency rubber-stamped if they want to stay in the country. Immigration minister Iain Lees-Galloway said trauma suffered by the worshippers meant that government needed to give them a “significant” response. “These people were victims of a deliberate attack that was designed to inflict maximum level of physical harm, and maximum level of mental trauma as well,” he said.
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