Sudbury Star | July 21, 2001

Immigration’s nonsensical fear-mongering tactics

Dear Editor:
Re: Woman fears being deported -- July 06, 2001

I really wish Nickel Belt MP Ray Bonin all the luck in the world in helping the Girouards with Catherine’s five-year struggle in gaining landed-immigrant status.

Elinor Caplan's Immigration Department is not known for its timely and courteous treatment of immigrants. It is little wonder that Pierre Girouard lives in the fear and apprehension that his wife Catherine, although mother of their three Canadian born children, could be deported.

This is but one more example of the misguided posturing by Citizenship and Immigration Canada in its attempt to demonstrate its resolve to keep Canada from becoming a haven for some possible deviant immigrant. The nonsensical fear mongering tactics of Elinor Caplan's Immigration Department are contrary to Canada’s traditions of welcoming immigrants.

In Vancouver, for example, a South African immigrant (1996) and businessman has had his whole family’s landed-immigrant status denied because his son has Down syndrome. The rejection letter stated that “one” of his dependants “can be expected to cause excessive demands on health and social services in Canada”.

Why punish the whole family? Visitors purchase medical care when in Canada. Can Immigration Canada not accept this family with the proviso that any pre-existing conditions not be publicly covered? Are we that inflexible?

Immigrants are not problems to be solved. Moreover receiving Canadian citizenship does not prevent even a child immigrant from being relegated to second class. For the same infraction, there are separate laws and regulations for Canadians by birth and Canadians by choice.

One such law is this government's denaturalisation and deportation law.

Given that the likes of Paul Bernardo and Clifford Olson have the right of appeal even when convicted on the basis of solid direct evidence, why is it that Elinor Caplan's Citizenship and Immigration Department does not allow appeals on denaturalization and deportation rulings?

These are rulings that are based only on the balance of probabilities or on what could have happened and not on direct evidence.

V. Walter Halchuk