This makes a bit more sense than what they previously reported in the Toronto Sun newspaper. In the previous story they implied that illegal work in Canada was acceptable for consideration in applications for residency. See my previous Blog on the subject ( yesterday) where I questioned the correctness of that opinion. It seems that the authorities now agree.
Feds nix illegal work for residency rules Canada News Toronto Sun
Feds nix illegal work for residency rules
By BRIAN LILLEY, Parliamentary Bureau
Last Updated: January 10, 2011 9:09pm
OTTAWA - The federal immigration department is being told to switch gears and stop counting illegal work experience for official immigration applications.
QMI Agency reported over the weekend that senior Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials had said illegal work experience could count towards an application through the provincial nominee program.
“We can count illegal work for PNP, but at the same time we need to have a confirmation of the illegal work,” Jacqueline Desjardins, senior analyst at CIC's national headquarters wrote in an e-mail.
Desjardins has now been overruled by Jason Kenney, the minister in charge of the department.
“We were outraged to hear that illegal work experience could count in favour of an applicant for permanent residency,” said Kenney spokesman Alykhan Velshi.
Desjardins' statement that illegal work could count towards a full immigration application came in response to an e-mail query circulated around the immigration department. The nominee program is part of the immigration stream that gives provinces a greater hand in selecting immigrants.
NDP immigration critic Olivia Chow said she didn't know what officials were thinking in approving illegal work experience.
“Immigration laws should be respected and any employers found hiring undocumented workers so as to exploit them should be punished,” Chow said.
Velshi said that Canada welcomes those who seek to come to Canada and follow the rules and points out that working illegally in the country is a violation of the law.
“Any individual who has worked in Canada illegally would be considered inadmissible to Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.”
Velshi said that the provinces set their own criteria under the provincial nominee program but the regulations from the IRPA apply to everyone immigrating to Canada.
Chow called on the government to find a long-term solution to the issue of illegal immigrants working in Canada.
“Canada needs to find a way to decrease the number of people in Canada who have no status by lowering the number of temporary foreign workers coming to Canada annually since some end up staying illegally when their contracts run out,” Chow said.
Canada's illegal immigrant population is estimated to be as high as 500,000 people.