Monday, December 31, 2007


Although the Op-Ed below is written in relation to the US, I think it applies equally strongly to Canada. Few people are so clear-headed and concise in making these important points.

Our nation: immigration, assimilation

Special to The Washington Post

If you don't speak Spanish, Miami really can feel like a foreign country. In any restaurant, the conversation at the next table is more likely to be in Spanish than English. And Miami's population is only 65 percent Hispanic. El Paso is 76 percent Latino. Flushing, N.Y., is 60 percent immigrant, mainly Chinese.
Chinatowns and Little Italys have long been part of our urban landscape, but would it be all right to have entire U.S. cities where most people spoke and did business in Chinese, Spanish or even Arabic? Are too many Third World, non-English-speaking immigrants destroying our national identity?
For some Americans, even asking such questions is racist. At the other end of the spectrum, conservative talk-show host Bill O'Reilly fulminates against floods of immigrants who threaten to change America's "complexion" and replace what he calls the "white Christian male power structure."
But for the large majority in between, Democrats and Republicans alike, these questions are painful, and there are no easy answers. At some level, most of us cherish our legacy as a nation of immigrants.
But are all immigrants really equally likely to make good Americans? Are we, as Samuel Huntington warns, in danger of losing our core values and devolving "into a loose confederation of ethnic, racial, cultural, and political groups, with little or nothing in common apart from their location in the territory of what had been the United States of America"?
My parents arrived in the United States in 1961, so poor that they couldn't afford heat their first winter. I grew up speaking only Chinese at home. (For every English word accidentally uttered, my sister and I got one whack of the chopsticks.) Today, my father is a professor at Berkeley, and I'm a professor at Yale Law School. As the daughter of immigrants, a grateful beneficiary of America's tolerance and opportunity, I could not be more pro-immigrant.
Nevertheless, I think Huntington has a point.
Around the world today, nations face violence and instability as a result of their increasing pluralism and diversity. Across Europe, immigration has resulted in unassimilated, largely Muslim enclaves that are hotbeds of unrest and even terrorism. The riots in France last month were just the latest manifestation. With Muslims poised to become a majority in Amsterdam and elsewhere within a decade, major West European cities could undergo a profound transformation. Not surprisingly, virulent anti-immigration parties are on the rise.
Not long ago, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union disintegrated when their national identities proved too weak to bind together diverse peoples. Iraq is the latest example of how crucial national identity is. So far, it has found no overarching identity strong enough to unite its Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis.
The United States is in no danger of imminent disintegration. But this is because it has been so successful, at least since the Civil War, in forging a national identity strong enough to hold together its widely divergent communities. We should not take this unifying identity for granted.
The greatest empire in history, ancient Rome, collapsed when its cultural and political glue dissolved, and peoples who had long thought of themselves as Romans turned against the empire. In part, this fragmentation occurred because of a massive influx of immigrants from a very different culture. The "barbarians" who sacked Rome were Germanic immigrants who never fully assimilated.
Does this mean that it's time for the U.S. to shut its borders and reassert its "white, Christian" identity and what Huntington calls its Anglo-Saxon, Protestant "core values"?
No. The anti-immigration camp makes at least two crucial mistakes.
First, it neglects the indispensable role that immigrants have played in building American wealth and power. In the 19th century, the United States never would have become an industrial and agricultural powerhouse without the millions of poor Irish, Polish, Italian and other newcomers who mined coal, laid rail and milled steel. European immigrants led to the United States' winning the race for the atomic bomb.
Today, American leadership in the Digital Revolution -- so central to our military and economic preeminence -- owes an enormous debt to immigrant contributions. Andrew Grove (cofounder of Intel), Vinod Khosla (Sun Microsystems) and Sergey Brin (Google) are immigrants. Between 1995 and 2005, 52.4 percent of Silicon Valley start-ups had one key immigrant founder. And Vikram S. Pundit's recent appointment to the helm of CitiGroup means 14 CEOs of Fortune 100 companies are foreign-born.
The United States is in a fierce global competition to attract the world's best high-tech scientists and engineers -- most of whom are not white Christians. Just this past summer, Microsoft opened a large new software development center in Canada, in part because of the difficulty of obtaining U.S. visas for foreign engineers.
Second, anti-immigration talking heads forget that their own scapegoating vitriol will, if anything, drive immigrants further from the U.S. mainstream. One reason that we don't have Europe's enclaves is our unique success in forging an ethnically and religiously neutral national identity, uniting individuals of all backgrounds. This is America's glue, and people like Huntington and O'Reilly unwittingly imperil it.
Nevertheless, immigration naysayers also have a point.
America's glue can be subverted by too much tolerance. Immigration advocates are too often guilty of an uncritical political correctness that avoids hard questions about national identity and imposes no obligations on immigrants. For these well-meaning idealists, there is no such thing as too much diversity.
The right thing for the United States to do -- and the best way to keep Americans in favor of immigration -- is to take national identity seriously while maintaining our heritage as a land of opportunity. U.S. immigration policy should be tolerant but also tough. Here are five suggestions:
Overhaul admission priorities. Since 1965, the chief admission criterion has been family reunification. This was a welcome replacement for the ethnically discriminatory quota system that preceded it. But once the brothers and sisters of a current U.S. resident get in, they can sponsor their own extended families.
In 2006, more than 800,000 immigrants were admitted on this basis. By contrast, only about 70,000 immigrants were admitted on the basis of employment skills, with an additional 65,000 temporary visas granted to highly skilled workers.
This is backward. Apart from nuclear families (spouse, minor children, possibly parents), the special preference for family members should be drastically reduced. As soon as my father got citizenship, his relatives in the Philippines asked him to sponsor them. Soon his mother, brother, sister and sister-in-law were also U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
This was nice for my family, but frankly, there is nothing especially fair about it. Instead, the immigration system should reward ability and be keyed to the country's labor needs, skilled or unskilled, technological or agricultural. In particular, we should significantly increase the number of visas for highly skilled workers, putting them on a fast track for citizenship.
Make English the official national language. A common language is crucial to cohesion and national identity in an ethnically diverse society. Americans of all backgrounds should be encouraged to speak more languages -- I've forced my own daughters to learn Mandarin (minus the threat of chopsticks) -- but offering Spanish-language public education to Spanish-speaking children is the wrong kind of indulgence. "Native language education" should be overhauled, and more stringent English proficiency requirements for citizenship should be set up.
Immigrants must embrace the nation's civic virtues. It took my parents years to see the importance of participating in the larger community. When I was in third grade, my mother signed me up for Girl Scouts. I think she liked the uniforms and merit badges, but when I told her that I was picking up trash and visiting soup kitchens, she was horrified.
For many immigrants, only family matters. Even when immigrants get involved in politics, they often focus on protecting their own and protesting discrimination. That they can do so is one of the great virtues of U.S. democracy. But a mind-set based solely on taking care of your own factionalizes our society.
Like all Americans, immigrants have a responsibility to contribute to the social fabric. It's up to each immigrant community to fight off an "enclave" mentality and give back to their new country. It's not healthy for Chinese to hire only Chinese, or Koreans only Koreans. By contrast, the free health clinic set up by Muslim Americans in Los Angeles -- serving the entire poor community -- is a model to emulate. Immigrants are integrated at the moment they realize that their success is intertwined with everyone else's.
Enforce the law. Illegal immigration, along with terrorism, is the chief cause of today's anti-immigration backlash. It is also inconsistent with the rule of law, which (as any immigrant from a developing country will tell you) is a crucial aspect of U.S. national identity.
If we're serious about this problem, we need to enforce the law against not only illegal aliens but also against those who hire them. It's the worst of all worlds to allow U.S. employers who hire illegal aliens -- thus keeping the flow of illegal workers coming -- to break the law while demonizing the aliens as lawbreakers. An Arizona law set to take effect Tuesday will tighten the screws on employers who hire undocumented workers, but this issue can't be left up to a single state.
Make the United States an equal-opportunity immigration magnet. That the 11 million to 20 million illegal immigrants are 80 percent Mexican and Central American is itself a problem. This is emphatically not for the reason Huntington gives -- that Hispanics supposedly don't share America's core values. But if the U.S. immigration system is to reflect and further our ethnically neutral identity, it must itself be ethnically neutral, offering equal opportunity to Sudanese, Estonians, Burmese and so on. The starkly disproportionate ratio of Latinos -- reflecting geographical fortuity and a large measure of law-breaking -- is inconsistent with this principle.
Immigrants who turn their backs on American values don't deserve to be here. But those of us who turn our backs on immigrants misunderstand the secret of America's success and what it means to be American.

Amy Chua, a professor at Yale School of Law, is the author of Day of Empire: How Hyperpowers Rise to Global Dominance -- And Why They Fall.


This interesting case was reported by The Times of India. Situations like this are not uncommon in many countries.
Top cop accused of harassment
31 Dec 2007, 0220 hrs IST,
Neel Kamal,
TNNSMS NEWS to 58888 for latest updates

SANGRUR: Balwant Kaur, a resident of Barundi village in Sangrur, has approached the district police chief with a complaint against a senior police officer, alleging that she was sexually harassed by the cop, who was reportedly inquiring into a case of maltreatment of the woman by her in-laws and husband. Exasperated, Kaur, a postgraduate, has given an ultimatum that in case the police failed to take action against her in-laws and the officer by January 15, she would expose the “guilty police officer”. Kaur was married to Gurpreet Singh of Sandaur four years ago, while her mother, sisters and brother left for Canada a year back. Soon after, her in-laws allegedly started pressuring her to get money from her mother, which she did on some occasions. Later, Kaur alleged that her in-laws expected her mother to help Gurpreet Singh migrate to Canada. Kaur, in a press conference, claimed that when she failed to facilitate her husband’s immigration to Canada, her in-laws started beating her up regularly. "On August 22, I took the matter to police post Sandaur but their inaction made me approach SSP Sangrur on October 12 and an enquiry was marked," said Kaur, who was made to return to her in-laws’ place with the assurance that they would not harass her anymore, she claimed. However, the torture only increased after police intervention, Kaur added. On December 5, she again complained to the police, accusing her in-laws of trying to kill her by beating her so severely that she was admitted to civil hospital, Malerkotla. The police registered a case under sections 324, 323, 498, 34 of IPC against her husband, mother-in-law Manjit Kaur and sister-in-law Gagandeep. "Justice was denied to me as no arrest was made and my in-laws threatened me with dire consequences," said Kaur, accusing the investigating police officer of harassing her by sending vulgar messages and favouring her in-laws. "If the police do not arrest my in-laws and take action against the guilty police officer, I will approach higher authorities and unmask the officer," said Kaur. Informing that the enquiry officer in Kaur’s case had been changed and a CIA staff was asked to take over and make arrests if necessary, SSP Arunpal Singh said, "About the police officer accused of sending vulgar messages, the matter will be investigated if Kaur gives the complaint in writing. If any police officer is found guilty, appropriate action will be taken."

Monday, December 24, 2007


Here is the Prime Minister's customary year end interview with the Canadian Press. Walking a fine line, Mr. Harper seems unwilling to confront realities or to say something that is not already tested in opinion polls, making it obvious that he is in a minority government position an dunable to carry out any bold moves. For 2008, my wish is that Canadians should engage in a national debate about what kind of country do we really want, what values we should espouse, what our economic needs are, who should get in and how quickly, and who should be kept out, even if some feathers are ruffled. We no longer have a choice, since our politicians are too worried about losing a few votes for saying something that is not considered politically correct. Ignoring a problem does not make it go away.Here is the link to the interview:

Saturday, December 22, 2007


The US Congress has delayed a requirement that people entering the United States from Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean show a passport when arriving by land or sea.
If President Bush signs the bill, citizens of the United States, Canada, Mexico and Caribbean nations will not have to show a passport when entering the United States by land or sea until at least June 2009.
The Department of Homeland Security was poised to require passports for such travelers next June. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, delayed the requirement by one year by amending a budget bill Congress passed this week.
The Department of Homeland Security already requires citizens of those countries to show a passport when they fly into the United States. Yet people arriving by air account for just one in 10 people who cross the border. See full story:

Friday, December 21, 2007


Canadians who adopt children abroad will find it easier to have their newest family members become Canadian citizens. The new legislation allows children adopted abroad by Canadian citizens to obtain Canadian citizenship without first having to become permanent residents. As a result, the difference in treatment between children adopted abroad and children born abroad to a Canadian parent is minimized. See link:

Thursday, December 20, 2007


Apostle of mayhem

Roberto Mendoza slipped into B.C. and now walks our streets. He is linked to a brutal gang and faces criminal charges here. Why hasn't he been deported?

Kelly Sinoski
Vancouver Sun
Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ernesto Roberto Contreras Mendoza, 33, has been denied a request to stay in Canada despite claims that he will be tortured or killed if he returns to El Salvador. He has been deemed inadmissable because of his gang connections here.
A Salvadoran member of the notorious Mara Salvatrucha-13 gang is living in British Columbia despite fears by immigration officials that the gang has a "single brutal purpose" of carrying out criminal activity by any means.
Roberto Ernesto Contreras Mendoza, 33, listed his address as a suite in a downtown Vancouver hotel while he applied for refugee status in a string of applications, appeals and, most recently, a judicial review.
Mendoza's body is covered in vivid tattoos marking him as a walking billboard for the Mara Salvatrucha-13 gang.
He was ordered deported in February after being deemed inadmissible because of his gang connections and is awaiting results of a pre-removal risk assessment.
Mendoza, who is out on bail, is also scheduled to appear in Surrey Provincial Court next month on charges of assault and uttering threats in connection with an October incident involving a woman in Surrey.
Mendoza can't be deported until his criminal charges have been dealt with.
"Even if the removal order was ready, the criminal business in the courts has to be dealt with prior to removal," Immigration Refugee Board spokeswoman Melissa Anderson said.
Mendoza was last detained by the IRB in October 2006 but released after 48 hours.
"He certainly hasn't been on our radar screens," Anderson said.
Police have claimed for years that MS-13 -- known for murder, kidnapping, rape, extortion and drug trafficking in El Salvador -- is starting to infiltrate north from the U.S. into Canada.
Mendoza's applications to the Immigration Review Board give a rare glimpse into the gang's inner workings.
He claims he was coerced into the gang, which dubbed him "Darky" and baptized him with a 14-second beating. He was then tattooed with 11 different gang markings.
Among the most prominent are two masks -- one smiling, one sad -- on his right arm. The sad face reflects time in prison and the loss of a relative, while the happy face reflects good times with the family.
His other tattoos include the name Mara Salvatrucha with the number 13 across his shoulder and a spider web and a billiard ball with the number 13 on his chest.
Mendoza's story is full of contradictions about why and when he joined. He was coerced, he told one immigration officer; he joined because he was fed up with injustice towards the poor, he told another.
Sometime in the 1980s, MS-13 gang members were deported in droves to El Salvador from Los Angeles, where they had formed MS-13 to protect themselves against black and Latino street gangs.
The members, covered in elaborate tattoos, are usually between ages of 11 and 40, according to immigration documents.
"Tattooed, strangely dressed and oozing a worldly cool, the returnees became apostles of mayhem. They found ready converts, with U.S. trained gangsters offering rootless boys a sense of family," said an article by the Maldon Institute, a U.S. think tank, which was cited as evidence in Mendoza's refugee hearing. "They provided income to those with little hope of finding well paying jobs. Youths joined by the thousands."
Mendoza said after the first of two daughters was born, he'd had enough. At one point, he said the gang had raped his sister and cut off his finger. He also claims he was shot and stabbed in 2005 by eight to 19 "Maras."
When asked what he feared most about returning home to El Salvador, he cited police units called La Sombra Negra (Black Shadow) and Mane Dure (Firm Hand).
"The Sombra Negra would kill me because I have tattoos. They kill everybody with tattoos," he said in a handwritten personal information form submitted to the Immigration and Refugee Board in October 2005.
In 2000, Mendoza hopped a bus to Guatemala, hitched a lift on a freight train to Mexico and walked across the border into the U.S., where where he worked odd jobs from Salt Lake City to Seattle.
He "blew the border" into B.C. at Sumas in 2005, seeking convention refugee status, claiming he would be killed or tortured if he returned to his native land. But immigration officials didn't buy his story, saying he had changed it to minimize his gang involvement.
This was partly based on evidence from Hector Alicia, a New York gang investigator who told a hearing that a member of the Mara Salvatrucha cannot be "jumped in" unless they want to be involved.
Although Mendoza won a reprieve in April 2006, subsequent appeals and applications for refugee status have been denied due to his gang connections.
"It is clear that the Mara Salvatrucha has a single brutal purpose, that of carrying out criminal activity by whatever means it chooses," the Immigration Appeal Division said in an October 2006 ruling.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Prof. blasts federal plan to recruit francophone immigrants

Newcomers end up speaking English

Kate Jaimet, CanWest News Service
Published: Tuesday, December 18, 2007

OTTAWA -- The federal government is pursuing an "irresponsible" policy of recruiting francophone immigrants to minority French communities in English Canada, when it should be sending them instead to the more robust francophone regions of Quebec, New Brunswick, and eastern Ontario, a University of Ottawa professor argues in a forthcoming journal article.
In "The contribution of immigration to francophone populations outside Quebec," to be published in the journal Francophonies d'Amerique, adjunct professor Charles Castonguay argues a large proportion of francophone immigrants become anglicized when they move to small French communities in Canada, and end up bolstering the English-speaking population rather than the French-speaking minority.
"It's a stupid program," Mr. Castonguay said in an interview. "We're wasting our bloody money here, because we're actually recruiting anglophones."
But Commissioner of Official Languages Graham Fraser defended the immigration policy. "I think it's absolutely critical for the future of French-speaking minority communities across Canada that they have access to immigration, to a stream of newcomers," Mr. Fraser said.
Francophonies d'Amerique, a journal published by the University of Ottawa, will print Castonguay's article in January -- the same month former New Brunswick premier Bernard Lord gives his recommendations to Prime Minister Stephen Harper on minority language policy.
Immigration has been a component of language policy at least since 2001, when Parliament passed the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, identifying one of the objectives of immigration as: "to support and assist the development of minority official languages communities in Canada."
In 2003, then-intergovernmental affairs minister Stephane Dion dedicated $9-million over five years toward recruiting immigrants to minority-language communities. And in September, 2006, the Conservative government furthered the policy by launching their "Strategic Plan to Foster Immigration to Francophone Minority Communities."
The target was to attract between 8,000 and 10,000 French-speaking immigrants annually to francophone communities outside Quebec.
Perhaps as a measure of the success of these programs, the census results show the number of francophone immigrants settling outside Quebec rose to 9,350 between 2001 and 2006 from 7,500 between 1996 and 2001.
But Mr. Castonguay says his analysis shows that within about 20 years of immigrating to Canada, a large proportion of francophones outside Quebec adopt English as their primary language. "We're not really helping the French minorities by recruiting international immigrants to go to places where they're going to assimilate (to English) anyways," he said.
In his article, Mr. Castonguay used data from the 2001 census to look at the language most commonly used at home by francophone immigrants aged 45 to 54.
Reasoning that most immigrants arrive at about age 30, this age bracket would identify their switch in language after 15 to 25 years in Canada, Mr. Castonguay said.
He found in six provinces -- Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and B.C. -- more than 50% of francophone immigrants in that age bracket spoke mainly English at home.
The rate stood at 43% in P.E.I., 46% in Manitoba, and 20% in New Brunswick.
Equivalent data from the 2006 census are not yet available, but a report by Statistics Canada on Dec. 11 found the percentage of people outside Quebec who use French as their main home language declined to 2.5% in 2006, from 2.7% in 2001 -- continuing a downward trend that has existed since 1971.
Based on his results, Mr. Castonguay argues the federal government should redirect its immigration program to steer francophone immigrants toward Quebec, New Brunswick, and Eastern Ontario, where anglicization rates are lower and they have a better chance of both retaining their own language, and augmenting the French-speaking community.
Ottawa Citizen

Friday, December 14, 2007


Ottawa to pay for emergency passport costs in Lebanon evacuation

From Friday's Globe and Mail
December 14, 2007 at 3:52 AM EST

The federal government is providing one last benefit to thousands of Lebanese-Canadians who were evacuated from war-torn Lebanon last year - it's reimbursing their emergency passport fee.
The government evacuated 15,000 people, many of them dual citizens, during the summer of 2006 when Israel attacked Hezbollah positions in Lebanon. More than 2,000 evacuees had to get an emergency Canadian passport before they could leave.
This week, the government quietly adopted a regulation to reimburse any passport fees incurred by evacuees. The move was taken because "it is in the public interest to do so," the regulation notes.
The order "grants those Canadians who were evacuated from Lebanon during the period beginning on July 20, 2006, and ending on Aug. 21, 2006, remission of the fee paid or payable, and any interest payable on that fee, for emergency passports," said a notice in the Canada Gazette on Wednesday.
It's not clear how much the provision will cost. Canadians who live abroad have to pay $100 to obtain a passport, but in some emergency situations the fee can be paid later.
Figures released by Foreign Affairs show that the government issued 2,400 new passports in Lebanon that summer, most emergency passports. The evacuation cost $94-million in total.
John Chant, an economist at Simon Fraser University, said he couldn't understand the government's decision to cover the cost of the passports. "It does seem puzzling to me," he said yesterday.
In a study earlier this year for the C.D. Howe Institute, Prof. Chant recommended that non-resident citizens pay a much higher passport fee than resident Canadians.
An estimated 2.7 million Canadians live abroad. Roughly 1.7 million of them are believed to be permanent residents of another country.


Here is a another case that exposes the unbelievably stupid Canadian refugee policy which prevents tine immediate detention and deportation of even the most dangerous individuals. Draw your own conclusions....We need to restore some sanity!
Refugee rapist skips out on deportation

Former Sudanese has been free since conviction, pending ruling on his status

Florence Loyie
The Edmonton Journal
Thursday, December 13, 2007

EDMONTON - An Edmonton woman says she isn't surprised the man who brutally raped her stepdaughter two years ago and was freed into the community earlier this month has disappeared while awaiting deportation.
A warrant was issued Wednesday for the arrest of Samuel Martin Luin, 23, who failed to report to the Edmonton Probation Office on Monday, as ordered earlier this month by an Immigration and Refugee Board adjudicator.
"I think he was gone within a half-hour of being freed," said the woman, who is not being named to protect the identity of the 21-year-old victim.
Luin became a permanent citizen on May 14, 2002, after coming to Canada from Sudan as a refugee, as defined under the United Nations 1951 Geneva Convention. Known as Convention refugees, they are people who fled their home countries because they feared persecution because of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular group.
Luin was convicted on July 18, 2006, of a vicious sexual assault on a teenager as she walked home from work. The attack was one of several in the Callingwood area in 2005.
He received a 40-month sentence, which was reduced to two years less a day after he was given double credit for eight months spent in the remand centre awaiting trial. He completed his sentence in November.
In the five years he has been in the country, Luin has accumulated 16 convictions, ranging from causing a disturbance to assault causing bodily harm and sexual assault. Luin's violent tendencies continued in jail, where he was involved in seven attacks on other inmates and corrections staff.
At an Immigration and Refugee Board admissibility hearing last July, Luin was ordered deported to Sudan.
But under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, as a Convention refugee he can only be deported under a document called "a danger opinion," signed by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, a process that can take anywhere from six to 18 months.
A danger opinion is issued if the minister, after reviewing the person's history, believes the individual poses a danger to the Canadian public or Canada's security that outweighs the risk of deporting him or her back to the country of origin. The person is allowed to make submissions arguing to stay.
An application for a danger opinion in the Luin case was submitted Nov. 13.
Under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, federal authorities could not detain Luin until they received the danger opinion, since he has already served his sentence. At an IRB detention review hearing Dec. 3, Luin was ordered released despite arguments that he posed a danger to the public and was unlikely to show up for deportation.
According to the transcript from the hearing, Luin's criminal record shows he twice failed to attend court after convictions, once failed to appear in court and once failed to comply with a recognizance order.
"It seems to me that the minister is about 16 months behind in doing that which the minister ought to have started ... a year and four months ago," IRB adjudicator Paul Kyba wrote in his decision. "This submission to the minister for an opinion that you pose a danger to the public, in my opinion, should have been made very soon after your last conviction in July of last year, and I see no excuse; I see no valid reason why the minister chose to delay this procedure."
The victim's stepmother said she has made calls to the federal departments involved to get answers.
In the meantime, she said she fears for her stepdaughter's safety and for women in the community while Luin is at large.
"What scares me is he is escalating in his violence. He grabbed my daughter walking home from work. He dragged her into a park and he sodomized her, kicked her and humiliated her, and left her there. He will do it again to someone else's daughter."



Border agents seek refugee at wrong temple

December 14, 2007
VANCOUVER -- Representatives of the Canadian Border Services Agency yesterday visited the Sikh temple in Abbotsford where a paraplegic refugee claimant took sanctuary in June, says one of his supporters, but were informed Laibar Singh was no longer staying there.
"They visited to find out how he was," said Harsha Walia, a refugee advocate from No One is Illegal. "But it wasn't really clear what they wanted."
Ms. Walia said representatives were told Mr. Singh is at the Khalsa Diwan Society Gurdwara in New Westminster, a detail widely reported in the media since Monday.
His supporters say he has not claimed formal sanctuary there.
Derek Mellon, spokesman for the border services agency, said he could not confirm or deny whether representatives tried to visit Mr. Singh.
Mr. Singh's deportation to India was delayed on Monday after thousands of Indo-Canadians surrounded his taxi at Vancouver International Airport and blocked the path to the terminal. Canadian Border Services Agency officials told protesters they wouldn't part the crowd to get Mr. Singh in case protesters got violent.
Mr. Singh's lawyer, Zool Suleman, reached in Istanbul, said he would not comment on the status of the case.
Sergio Karas, a citizenship and immigration lawyer in Toronto, said he is concerned that a mob of people managed to impede the execution of Canadian law.
"I'm not defending the system in any way, shape or form," he said. "They have many flaws. But the fact is, if this becomes an example, what kind of country are we going to develop into? Are we ruled by laws or by mobs?"
Mr. Karas said taking sanctuary in a church or temple doesn't afford someone special rights, but it is highly unlikely the government will enter a place of worship by force.
He said he is worried that those who commit serious crimes might seek similar sanctuary
Ms. Walia said Mr. Karas's concerns are not valid.
"I actually think it's problematic to say it's a precedent, because the only way laws are challenged are by people standing up to them," she said. "In this case, a group of people have stood up to a deportation [order]."
Harpal Singh Nagra, one of Mr. Singh's most vocal supporters at Monday's protest, is receiving criticism for his ties to the International Sikh Youth Federation, a group he said he helped organize in 1985.
But when a member of his group faced charges in an attack on Ujjal Dosanjh, now a Liberal MP, Mr. Nagra said he severed all ties with the organization.
"I left in 1986," he said yesterday. "After that, whatever they were doing was none of my business."
Mr. Nagra, head of the South Asian Human Rights Group, denied allegations that an organization he joined in India, the All India Sikh Student Federation, was involved in criminal activities.
Mr. Singh arrived in Canada in 2003 with a forged passport. He filed a refugee claim but was turned down. He later suffered an aneurysm and became a paraplegic. He was ordered deported in June, but sought sanctuary in a temple in Abbotsford, and was granted an extension to wait for a decision on his bid to stay in Canada on compassionate and humanitarian grounds.
That claim was rejected because the government believed he did not have sufficient ties to Canada. His most recent deportation order was issued last week.
Some supporters believe he should not have to make the 20-hour flight to India until he is in better health, while others believe he should stay for good.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


The case of the paralysed Sikh refugee claimant who exhausted his appeals and hid in a Sikh temple, protected by a mob of sympathizers, has taken another strange turn: the mob manged to prevent his imminent deportation by forcing the taxi carrying him to the airport on CBSA orders to turn around. Message to the Government of Canada: don't let the mob dictate immigration policy or defy the rule of law. This is a dangerous precedent and don't e surprised if it triggers copycat actions. Charge the mob masterminds with obstruction of justice and throw the book at them. Show that you have some guts and that you will enforce the law. Rule of law yes, mob rule, NO! Canada does not belong to those who scream the loudest or threaten violence, or try to make a mockery of the system, as flawed as it may be. If you allow this, what is next? As an immigration lawyer who assists people to navigate the system and defend their legal rights, I am personally offended by the government's inability to get rid of this bogus refugee claimant who has done nothing but make a mockery of the system since his arrival in Canada on a false passport, cost taxpayers over half a million dollars in free health care, and now even expects to be rewarded with residency in Canada so he can continue to drain resources and abuse our generosity. Many of my clients are hard working, pay taxes, want nothing to do with social assistance, and are being treated much less leniently by the authorities. But this case shows that if they were able to mobilize a mob in their support, obstruct justice and defy the law, perhaps they could be more successful. That, however, is NOT the way to do things. This individual lied, cheated, and played the system while it was convenient for him, and now that the jig is up, he resorts to enlisting his friends to provoke ethnic tensions and obstruct enforcement. Enough is enough. Deport him ASAP and charge his friends. Don't be shy. Show that Canada is a country of laws and not a banana republic hostage to mob rule. See articles below:

Sympathy isn't enough to concede immigration decisions to a mob

Vancouver Sun

Wednesday, December 12, 2007
CREDIT: Ian Lindsay, Sun, Files

Up to 2,000 supporters of Laibar Singh surrounded his cab at Vancouver airport on Monday to prevent officials from deporting him to India. They also brought airport traffic to a standstill.
It's hard not to feel some sympathy for Laibar Singh. The widower arrived in Canada in 2003, and proceeded to work as a labourer to support his four children in India.
But three years later, Singh was felled by a massive stroke, left paralyzed and reportedly in ill health. If that weren't enough, Singh was then ordered deported by the Canadian government. In India, his supporters say, he will not receive adequate medical treatment for his condition.
Singh's sad story has understandably galvanized members of Abbotsford's Sikh community, who have been protesting his deportation order. Those protests came to a head on Monday, when Singh was taken to Vancouver International Airport to board a plane to Hong Kong in fulfillment of the exclusion order.
Singh never made his flight, though, thanks to the hundreds of protesters who surrounded his taxi van. Although the protesters denied being violent or threatening violence, officials with the Canadian Border Services Agency chose not to wade through the crowd to retrieve the ailing Singh, saying instead that his removal has been delayed "for safety and security reasons."
Now Singh's story is admittedly a sad one -- a hard case if you will. And as we all know, hard cases make bad law.
There is, after all, another side to this story. Singh's arrival in Canada was made possible by the fact that he used a forged passport. Despite that, Singh was afforded the opportunity to apply for refugee status while he stayed and worked in Canada until he suffered his stroke. Just before his first deportation order was to take effect last autumn, his supporters took him to refuge in a Sikh temple in Abbotsford.
Over the last few years, Singh's application and appeals were all denied. Despite that, he was granted two extensions to stay in Canada, the first which expired on Oct. 20, and the second which ran out on Monday.
The only reason the exclusion order was not ultimately fulfilled is that CBSA officials did not feel comfortable escorting Singh from his taxi to the airport. Now even if the protesters were not and would not have been violent, to decide not to deport Singh on account of protests is to succumb to mob rule.
Worse, it suggests that that our legal system, and our government, which decided that Singh did not qualify for Convention refugee status, somehow lack legitimacy.
The decision also suggests that anyone else -- whether or not a refugee claimant -- who is dissatisfied with the outcome of a legal process can simply ignore the results of the process by gathering friends together to intimidate officials.
This, of course, is a message that we must not send. We can feel sympathy for Laibar Singh, but we must avoid allowing our sympathy to seduce us into valuing mob rule over the rule of law.
Terror group founder rallying behind paralyzed refugee claimant

Kim Bolan, CanWest News Service
Published: Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A key figure in the campaign to keep a paralyzed refugee claimant in Canada is the founder of the banned terrorist organization International Sikh Youth Federation, who himself won refugee status in 1998.
Harpal Singh Nagra, who has used several aliases, is now the president of the South Asian Human Rights Group, which is fighting to keep Laibar Singh in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.
Mr. Nagra's link to an organization banned by Ottawa in 2003 has not prevented him from getting meetings with federal and provincial politicians about the plight of Singh.
The deportation to India of Mr. Singh, a failed refugee claimant who suffered an aneurysm after coming to Canada, was halted after a massive demonstration at Vancouver International Airport on Monday.
Mr. Nagra was one of three community representatives who met with Canada Border Services Agency officials at the airport and has put out several news releases about Mr. Singh's case since last summer.
Mr. Nagra's name surfaced at the Air India inquiry in Ottawa just last week.
Bob Solvason, a retired RCMP staff sergeant, testified he investigated Nagra on allegations he brought a Sikh extremist into Canada on someone else's passport 24 days before the June 1985 Air India bombings.
Nagra was convicted but won a new trial on appeal. The second trial hasn't been held.
Solvason told Air India commissioner John Major he believed the RCMP dropped the ball by not putting more resources into the Nagra investigation at the time.
The person who was brought to Canada from the Philippines, Pushpinder Singh, ended up travelling to Toronto with bombing mastermind Talwinder Singh Parmar on the weekend of June 8 and 9, 1985, according to exhibits entered at the Air India inquiry.
Pushpinder Singh, who is no relation to the paralyzed man fighting to stay in Canada, also attended a meeting on June 12, 1985, with other International Sikh Youth Federation members, the Air India inquiry heard.
One person at the meeting allegedly criticized him, saying: "You have not killed an ambassador or a consul yet," and Singh reportedly replied: "You will see. In two weeks we'll show the community."
Border service officials did not return phone calls on Wednesday about the status of Laibar Singh's deportation or the involvement of Nagra in the current campaign.
Mr. Nagra did not return phone calls.
Jean Tessier, of the federal public safety ministry, said he would not comment on anyone involved in the Laibar Singh campaign.
"We are not in a position to provide an opinion about any individuals who may or may not support Mr. Laibar Singh," Mr. Tessier said.
Mr. Nagra, who has also used the names Harjinderpal Singh Nagra and Harpal Singh Ghuman, arrived in Canada in February 1985 and eventually filed a refugee claim, according to documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun.
He won his case in October 1998 when the Immigration and Refugee Board ruled he could face persecution if deported to India because of his involvement in the separatist struggle for an independent Sikh nation called Khalistan.
But the immigration department appealed the board's ruling, saying Mr. Nagra was a leader of the All India Sikh Student Federation in India, which was responsible for "directing a campaign of violence, including murder, assassination and the use of motorcycle hit squads."
It said the militant activities of the federation qualified as crimes against humanity, making Nagra ineligible as a refugee.
In 1999, Mr. Nagra won again when the Federal Court accepted his claim that he left the International Sikh Youth Federation in May 1986 when members got arrested for shooting a visiting Punjabi cabinet minister on Vancouver Island.
He also said he was discouraged when a member of his group was charged with the 1985 beating of Ujjal Dosanjh, who was then a community activist critical of the use of violence by some Sikh extremists and is now a Liberal MP.
Laibar Singh, meanwhile, remains at a New Westminster Sikh temple being cared for by members of the community who have pledged to support him and pay for all his medical expenses in Canada.
Balwant Singh Gill, president of Surrey's Guru Nanak temple, said Wednesday that everyone in the Sikh community is behind the disabled man regardless of traditional divisions or political affiliations.
And Mr. Gill said Laibar Singh should not suffer even if some of those involved in the campaign to help him have controversial links.
"This poor guy should be allowed to stay on humanitarian grounds," Mr. Gill said. "He can't afford to pay for the hospital if he is sent back to India.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


The Conference Board of Canada has just released a report on Canada's most attractive cities for talent, and a comparison with other cities around the world. The report, entitled City Magnets: Benchmarking the Attractiveness of Canada’s CMAs gives an overview of how cities rank on the features that make Canadian cities attractive to skilled workers and mobile populations. A looming demographic crunch threatens to generate labour shortages in Canadian cities, so cities without the ability to act as magnets and attract new people will struggle to stay prosperous in the decades ahead. The full study uses report-card rankings of outcomes, or proxies for outcomes, to show how attractive our cities are to people. The performance of 27 census metropolitan areas is compared across seven different domains: Economy, Health, Society, Housing, Environment, Innovation, and Education. A second, less detailed analysis, also ranks Canada’s 27 CMAs against 27 U.S. cities. While Calgary finished first ahead of Toronto and Vancouver, when compared against US cities, Washington,D.C. was first, Austin,TX second, and Calgary finished only third. Toronto and Vancouver were only in 15 and 16 place respectively, behind most of the large US cities such as New York, Boston, San Francisco, Houston, etc. the report can be found at:

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


See this story from the Toronto Star. This is quite dumb. Taxpayers should not be saddled with such a crazy merry-go-round for a convicted criminal who should have been expelled a long time ago. This typifies what is wrong with the immigration system: we spend time and resources on people who should not be here, and make those who should be here wait for years....go figure.
Court brings deportee back

Order issued after schizophrenic man dumped at Jamaican airport was found wandering naked

December 10, 2007
Nicholas Keung

A man with schizophrenia, deported to Jamaica this year, has been brought back to Canada under an unusual court order, after enforcement officials failed to take him to a hospital there for psychiatric care as promised.
Instead, Christopher Smith, 44, was dumped at the airport. He was later found by a relative, "naked, roaming the streets of Kingston," according to an affidavit. He was taken to hospital 10 days later.
"He lost all his identification. He didn't have his medication. His family was frantic because they couldn't get in touch with him at the (Jamaican) hospital," said his Toronto lawyer, Mary Lam, who took the rare step in May of asking the federal court to invalidate a deportation that had already been executed.
Smith, who had been stripped of his landed-immigrant status because of criminal convictions, was escorted back to Toronto by Canada Border Services Agency last month at the order of Justice Frederick Gibson. The ruling was unusual because the condition of deportees is rarely monitored once they've left Canadian soil.
"There's usually no way of checking (on that) after the fact. You never know what happens to the deported," noted Lam. "Fortunately, my client has a family in Canada who cares about him and set the case in motion."
Smith would have been just another of the many deportees Canada ships back to Jamaica each year – 217 in 2005 and 224 last year – if not for the mishandling of his mental health care.
An auto mechanic who joined his family here in 1987, he had never applied for citizenship, which would have given him an absolute right to remain regardless of his criminal convictions.
According to his lawyer, Smith has a record going back to 1991, but involving only simple assaults or mischief resulting in suspended, conditional or one-day sentences.
"He's paranoid of conspiracy, thinking that people were after him. When he's not on medication, it causes him to act in that manner," explained Lam, adding that her client's mental illness emerged as early as 1979, and he had spent time in mental health institutions.
Smith's trouble with the law finally warranted an order from Citizenship and Immigration Canada in October 2003 to have him stripped of his status and removed from the country. After a two-year legal battle, the order was revoked by the Immigration and Appeal Division on condition that he kept a clean record. But Smith got himself into trouble again and lost his immigrant status a second time.
At an emergency court application to stay his April 5 deportation, enforcement officials assured the judge that "Once (Smith) arrives in Kingston, Jamaica, he will be transported from the airport to the emergency department at the Kingston Public Hospital on North St."
In fact, the court found, the Canadian officials simply advised Smith of his medical appointment and asked Jamaican authorities to assist him in attending it.
He is said to have had only four days' supply of medication on him.
Lam said his return was delayed by Immigration Minister Diane Finley's request for a psychiatric report, and then hurricane damage at his hospital. He has been detained at an immigrant holding facility since returning on Nov. 23.
Under the ironies of Canada's immigration practices, he may not be here much longer. Two weeks before his federally funded return, Lam learned that another removal proceeding had already been initiated. He's due for another federally funded deportation on Jan. 18.
"Basically I was told: Get him ready to leave, again," said Lam, who plans to ask the court to stay the removal as her client reapplies for landed status on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

Monday, December 10, 2007


Passport flap keeps businessman from friend's funeral

From Monday's Globe and Mail
December 10, 2007 at 5:20 AM EST
What started as a personal tragedy - the sudden death of a dear friend and business partner - has became the latest instalment in the bureaucratic horrors of international travel for a Windsor man desperate to be at a funeral later this week in Hong Kong.
Mike Levesque spent yesterday at Toronto's Pearson Airport after an Air Canada official said his well-used passport was unacceptable, even though he had just flown home from Asia on the same airline a few days before.
"I have to say I've never, ever had this kind of treatment anywhere else in the world," a weary and emotional Mr. Levesque, 38, said yesterday afternoon as he camped out in Pearson's Terminal 3 where he hoped to get on a flight with another carrier. "It's been quite a day."
His day began in the wee hours of the morning with a four-hour drive to Toronto to catch an Air Canada flight to Hong Kong. The quickly planned trip followed news that his business partner and university friend, Kevin Yuen, had been killed on a mountain road in nearby Macau by a drunk driver at the wheel of a dump truck. After days of searching, authorities had located the man's body on a steep hillside and Mr. Levesque was eager to be there for the service and to support the wife and two daughters Mr. Yuen left behind.
But when the ticket agent saw his passport - a frequently used document that also made a trip through the laundry about a year ago - she questioned whether authorities in Hong Kong would allow him entry. This even though the passport contained a 90-day visa for travel there that had been stamped the last time Mr. Levesque arrived in Hong Kong on his most recent business trip on Nov. 16 - the last time he also saw his friend.
Given that he had just travelled in Asia for three weeks and never had his passport questioned, Mr. Levesque was astonished airline staff would prevent him from returning.
"I said there was no way that it wouldn't be accepted and asked to speak to the supervisor," Mr. Levesque recalled. The airline supervisor refused to let Mr. Levesque on his flight, even after Canadian immigration officials at Pearson said the passport was still usable because it scanned and was readable.
"He didn't care that I was going to a funeral. He told me you might as well book a room. You can go to the passport office in the morning. You might be there by Thursday," Mr. Levesque said.
Air Canada spokeswoman Angela Mah said airlines are responsible for checking that passengers have the correct documents for travel, even though it is the countries of entry that ultimately make that decision. "There are hefty fines for airlines, which come into effect for allowing passengers to travel without proper documentation," Ms. Mah said. "With the state of this passport, we just could not be assured of the actions taken by the Hong Kong authorities."
For Mr. Levesque, the ordeal left him bewildered at a time when his world has already been upended. "It's a defining moment," he said searching for words to describe the experience. "It could have been avoided with a little bit of a human touch."
Mr. Levesque struck up a friendship with Mr. Yuen while they were engineering students first at the University of Waterloo and later at the University of Toronto. After Mr. Yuen moved to Hong Kong, the two began working together on business ventures. Mr. Levesque's company, Engineered Systems Inc., designs wind turbines and also does work on solar energy and LED lighting, the part of the business Mr. Yuen oversaw.
Just a few weeks ago, Mr. Yuen greeted his old friend when he arrived at the airport in Hong Kong. They met with a business contact and later had tea before Mr. Levesque left for Shanghai.
"That was the last time I saw him," Mr. Levesque said. "It's all so fresh."
Late last night Mr. Levesque was on standby for a flight with Cathay Pacific that would get him to Hong Kong early tomorrow morning, a few hours before the funeral service. Cathay Pacific had no problem accepting his passport.

Friday, December 7, 2007


At a reception hosted by the Ontario Bar Association last night, I was privileged to meet the new Attorney General of Ontario, the Honourable Christopher Bentley, and to have a cordial and meaningful discussion about issues of concern to the Immigration Bar. A future meeting with the Attorney General and his staff will take place at a future date.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


The new statistics from the latest Census reveal that most of Mississauga's population is foreign born, mainly from India. China dropped to second as a source of immigrants to that city. There is little doubt that Canada has changed dramatically and continues to do so at an accelerated pace. The question really is, if the current trend continues and the percentage of foreign-born population continues to increase, at what point Canada ceases to have a national identity stops being able to integrate newcomers, and becomes merely a "collection of nationalities" rather than a single nation Also, the settlement of immigrants continues to be centered in the big cities and it suburbs, so this also contributes to a huge difference in population composition between the Provinces. This question requires intense national that most politicians would like to avoid like the pest...a.nd we have not even seen the figures on religion yet, which will no doubt show that Islam is the fastest growing religion in Canada and has accelerated in the last five years due to immigration and population growth. Further, another question is: if we get so many immigrants, why are so many job vacancies unfilled, and why are so many newcomers unemployed or underemployed? If all these stats do not merit a national debate, I do not know what will. See article:

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


Statistics Canada released today the results of the latest Census with immigration figures and its impact on Canada's population. Of course, in the terse and politically correct Canada, some of the important details are sugar-coated so as not to appear "politically incorrect". For example, the Census figures refer to "Asians" as including the Middle East, something quite amazing, given the enormous differences in migration patterns between countries in Asia. Also, the Census did not appear to ask respondents if they were actually satisfied in Canada, or if they were employed in their chosen field, or if they ever collected Social Assistance, or if free heath care and education were ever factors in choosing Canada, or wha tkind of impac tthe massive migration patterns has had on national values, their view of the world, foreing policy, etc . Quite lame...very "Canadian"..i would have liked to know the answers to these questions. If we do not ask the "hard" questions, we will never get any answers...See article:


The Government of Canada has launched a new cred entails evaluation website. If you are a professional in a regulated profession and you are planning to migrate to Canada, you should have your qualifications evaluated BEFORE you make plans to do so. See


More evidence that the continuing flood of Mexican "refugee" claimants coming from the US is overloading the refugee determination system. It is time to impose a visitor visa on Mexico to stem this flow. See article:

Friday, November 30, 2007


A judge at the Federal Court of Canada has struck down the provisions of the Safe Third Country Agreement with the United States, which allowed Canada to prevent the entry of "refugee claimants" though the Canada- US border, and direct them back to be dealt with in the US. The US could do the same and return the asylum seekers to Canada, but undoubtedly, the vast majority of asylum seekers were coming from the US into Canada. many of them had lived in the US for many years, and were motivated to move to Canada by a variety of factors, including the perceived US crackdown on illegal aliens, the free health care and social services provided in Canada, and other economic incentives. In late 2004, a rush of applicants from Pakistan, many of whom had been living illegally in the US for a dozen years, made their way to Canada to seek asylum based on mostly bogus stories. A similar rush is now in progress by Mexicans and Haitians who can not be sent back to the US, and arrive at the border towns, taxing social services. The decision of the Federal Court judge can be appealed to the Federal Court of Appeal, and eventually, may end up at the Supreme Court of Canada,. Given the ramifications and importance of this case, it is expected that the government will appeal the decision. Otherwise....get ready for an onslaught of thousands of "refugees" driving their cars through the Canada-US border!


US authorities broke up an alleged international human smuggling ring with extensive connections to Canada, which was charging $10,000 for assisting illegal aliens to enter the US from Canada illegally. The story can be found at:

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Man. to regulate foreign worker recruitment

By FBC staff

Manitoba's provincial government will consult on plans to regulate agencies that recruit temporary workers from other countries.
Labour Minister Nancy Allan announced plans Wednesday to consult with stakeholders on proposed changes to the provincial Employment Services Act. One of the proposals would require that all third-party recruiters of foreign workers be licensed by the province.
The province also proposes that such agencies will have to be members in good standing of either a law society in Canada or the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants.
The new law, if approved, would be the first of its kind in Canada and "a model for other jurisdictions," Allan said.
The legislation would also look to help employers get access to "legitimate and reliable" recruitment choices, she said.
While not specifically mentioned in the province's release, the move follows revelations earlier this year that over five dozen workers from China had been required to pay fees of up to C$11,500 each before coming to work at Maple Leaf Foods' hog plant at Brandon, Man.
The food company, which also recruits in Mexico and El Salvador, cut its ties to the immigration consulting firm that imported the workers and said it would explore other ways to recruit in China.
Maple Leaf said that while the workers did get some training for the fees paid, there was "no transparency" to the fees and the packer was unaware its new workers were carrying these heavy debts.
(A spokesman for the affected workers told reporters in January that the fees were demanded by a Chinese company, not the Canadian consultant.)
Almost 4,500 temporary foreign workers were employed in Manitoba in January this year, up from about 1,500 in 1997, the province said.
"We will continue to work with our federal (government) partners to better understand the arrival, location and numbers of temporary workers as well as identify, license and regulate agencies involved in the recruitment," Allan said in a release.
The province noted that the Employment Services Act hadn't been amended since 1987.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


The super-concentrated and uncompetitive Canadian banking industry is trying to catch more immigrant customers by resorting to a variety of tactics, some creative, others dangerously divisive. Why should we go to a bank machine and spend time to have to decide in which language I want to bank? Rather than creating more ways for people not to interact, they should stop opposing competition at the retail level by non-Canadian banks, so ALL custom es will have meaningful choices. See story:


Canada urged to join pact against human trafficking

Peter O'Neil
CanWest News Service
Friday, November 09, 2007

STRASBOURG, France -- Canada is being urged to sign and ratify a controversial Council of Europe convention intended to battle the modern slave trade.
The council, a human rights body created in this city in 1949 on the advice of former British prime minister Winston Churchill, will enact the convention next year to battle the trafficking of people - mostly women and children - for the purposes of sexual slavery and forced labour.
A conference Thursday heard grim accounts of recent events that underscore the inability of authorities to publicize and crack down on one of organized crime's most lucrative industries.
John Austin, a member of the British House of Commons, noted that British media, the public and police have largely ignored the recent story of 48 trafficked children who went missing while in the protective custody of social service agencies in England.
The children, aged 10 to 17 and mostly girls from Africa and China, are believed to be back in the hands of organized crime figures who originally smuggled them into England to work as child prostitutes.
Meanwhile, the British media, the public and authorities obsess every day about the whereabouts of a pretty blond four-year-old, Madeleine McCann, who went missing over the summer in Portugal.
"I find the dramatic contrast between (public attention to) the worldwide search for Madeleine, and the plight of 48 missing children in Britain, extraordinary," Austin said.
In a later interview, Austin urged countries like Canada to adopt the convention.
That view was echoed officially by Matjaz Gruden, a special adviser to Council of Europe secretary-general Terry Davis.
"It's in the clear interest of Canada and the European countries that are members of the Council of Europe" to ratify the convention, Gruden said.
"We cannot do these things alone. We cannot even do it on a continental basis. I mean, Europe is a big place, but these are issues where you need global co-operation in order to be successful."
The council is made up of 47 European members. Five more - Canada, the Holy See, the United States, Japan and Mexico - have observer status. Canadian officials and parliamentarians have participated in the formulation of modern council conventions in areas such as counter-terrorism, cybercrime, the sexual exploitation of children, and trafficking, Gruden said.
Canadian officials were unable Thursday to explain Canada's position on the trafficking convention, although Justice Canada said on its website that it is following United Nations' resolutions denouncing people-trafficking.
"The government of Canada is working to combat trafficking in persons both domestically and internationally."
Gruden noted that many European countries have voiced concern over the strong provisions in the Council of Europe convention intended to protect victims.
The convention calls on authorities to treat trafficked people as victims, provide them with "physical and psychological assistance and support for their reintegration into society."
While all council members have signed the treaty, only 10 countries so far have ratified it. Some governments are dragging their feet because of concern that the victim-protection provisions could be used to prevent states from expelling illegal migrants.
"What they were afraid of is that it would create a loophole for illegal immigration," Gruden said.


It seems that the Government of Canada has develop the habit of reacting to international crisis by bumping some people ahead of the line. The problem is that everyone feels entitled to be at the head of the line. Every time there is a civil war, catastrophe of some kind, or any otter displacement, Citizenship and Immigration Canada forges ahead with some kind of "program" to bring people based only on family relationships, even some tenuous ones, at the behest of different ethnic groups. This is hardly a good policy habit. Instead of doing this, they should concentrate on bringing the people Canada needs, so they can be employed and productive in jobs that now go begging, not more "family class" to be stuck on welfare, without language skills and unhappy. I am sure that the visa posts could find many applications from Iraqi Skilled Workers who are educated and could land a job immediately, but who will not be helped by the new program. See link:

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Here is another story about the not-so-hidden costs of illegal migration from the US into smaller communities in Ontario, particularly by the recent wave of Mexicans coming ac cross the border after years living illegally in the US. Why should taxpayers pay for them? See story:

Monday, November 12, 2007


Finally, the Attorney General of Florida shut down the agency which encouraged people to migrate illegally to Canada. See story:

Saturday, November 10, 2007


The Mexicans and Haitians are still driving themselves to the Detroit-Windsor border, encouraged by unscrupulous individuals who promise them "easy" residency in Canada, and in some measure, also by the weak enforcement of deportation orders issued by Canadian authorities ( that is not surprising). Meanwhile the border city of Windsor, heavily dependent on the fortunes of the auto industry, and where unemployment runs at 9.6 percent, is feeling the strain on its social services put by the unwelcome, self-invited newcomers...they keep coming after years in the US...the word is out that Canada is "easy".See story:

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


Yesterday, Canada's Minister of Citizenship and Immigration made an announcement in India concerning the thorny problem of credential accreditation for skilled immigrants. This seems to be more political pandering by the Tories to get minority votes, which have traditionally voted for the Liberal Party, rather than any meaningful solution to an extremely complex problem. I wish politicians would stop wasting taxpayers' dollars on window dressing and allow market forces to dictate what kind of immigrant workers the economy needs. Do we need more PhDs in Philosophy to drive taxis and be unhappy, or should we spend our resources bringing computer programmers, technicians and engineers who speak good English and will find a job immediately and invest in the economy? Isn't the answer obvious? This is the fluffy announcement for thsi colosal waste of money:
Minister Finley announces overseas expansion of Foreign Credentials Referral Services

New Delhi, India, November 6, 2007 — The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, today announced the expansion of services to help immigrants from India and China get their professional credentials assessed and recognized in Canada as quickly as possible with the assistance of the Foreign Credentials Referral Office (FCRO).
While in India, t he Minister announced the open ing of a new office of the Canadian Immigration Integration Pro ject in New Delhi. The new office, which is centrally located, is in response to increased demand in the region.
“The Government of Canada is committed to helping newcomers succeed, and one way to do that is to help them before they get to Canada,” said Minister Finley. “Too many newcomers have come to Canada only to learn after they’ve arrived what credentials are needed. By expanding our FCRO programs overseas, we’re helping prospective immigrants to get a head start by providing information on the foreign credential recognition process and the Canadian labour market.”
Today’s announcement adds service on a rotational basis in the states of Gujarat and Punjab, which are major sources of skilled immigrants from India. In China, rotational services have been added in Beijing and Shanghai so services are available to more potential immigrants.
Until now, the orientation sessions have been available in three cities in India, China and the Philippines. To date, more than 1,200 prospective immigrants have registered, and benefited. Overall, participants say they are more confident about being able to settle successfully when they arrive in Canada.
When the Foreign Credentials Referral Office was launched in May of 2007, the Government of Canada committed to expanding overseas services. Today’s expansion is another step towards meeting this commitment. The sessions are funded on a pilot basis by Human Resources and Social Development Canada’s Foreign Credential Recognition Program and delivered by the Association of Canadian Community Colleges’ Canadian Immigration Integration Project.
The Foreign Credentials Referral Office was established following consultations with provincial and territorial governments and other key stakeholders, including regulatory and assessment bodies, post secondary education institutions and their national organizations, employers, sector councils, immigrant serving organizations and newcomers themselves. While credential recognition in Canada is a provincial and territorial responsibility, the federal government plays a facilitative role, funding projects and providing a range of information, path-finding and referral services to help internationally trained persons navigate through the foreign credential assessment and recognition processes and obtain up-to-date information about the Canadian labour market.

Monday, November 5, 2007


Interesting article from the Toronto Star on the issue of border security. It seems that, six years after 9-11 we have learned and done little to improve the situation. What we need is a comprehensive approach to reform immigration laws and stop the influx of bogus refugee claimants travelling on fake documents through the borders and airports. In a world where security concerns are heightened, allowing them to do so makes no sense whatsoever.

Friday, November 2, 2007


I will be moderating a session on "Entrepreneurs, Investors and opening overseas offices" at the International Bar Association(IBA) 3rd. Biennial Global Business Immigration conference in London, November 14 and 15. The conference will attract some of the world's best immigration lawyers and will be opened by the UK Minister of Immigration, with other notable keynote speakers during the session.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Under pressure from the EU, Canada has removed the visitor visa requirement (Temporary Resident Visa) for citizens of the Czech Republic and Latvia. The two visa requirements date back to very different sets of circumstances: The visa requirement on citizens of Latvia is a leftover from the breakup of the Soviet Union; Latvia (together with Estonia and Lithuania) was a former Soviet satellite, where citizens used their new found freedom to go abroad and never come back, but the situation changed dramatically when Latvia joined the EU and began experiencing strong economic growth, an incentive for its citizens to stay in Europe. The visa situation with the Czech Republic is more complex: in the 1990s, the Czech Republic enjoyed visa-free status, but a deluge of bogus Czech and Hungarian Roma "refugees", encouraged by unscrupulous lawyers and consultants, inundated Canada's asylum system. It is then surprising that the visa has been removed, and further monitoring to determine if the situation will repeat itself is warranted. See story:

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


In a new report, Canada's Auditor General warns that security at the border is lax ( no big surprise), and that many unsavoury individuals, including criminals and terrorists, have made their way to Canada taking advantage of the lax procedures. The report also faults the refugee system in particular as a major problem area.
Canada's auditor general warns that border agents have allowed 'high risk' people into country

The Associated Press
Tuesday, October 30, 2007

TORONTO: Canadian border agents have allowed "high-risk" people and goods to slip into the country due to inadequate screening systems and procedures, Canada's federal auditor general said Tuesday.
Canada Border Services Agency officers failed to take a closer look at numerous travellers and shipments flagged as possible risks on watch lists because a new high-tech system "is not working as intended" and procedures are sometimes lax, Sheila Fraser said.
Such watch lists are compiled based on intelligence information, past customs seizures and immigration violations and are issued to border guards, but agents have sometimes failed to check them and have failed to use all the information available to them
According to Fraser, an average of 13 percent of customs warnings and 21 percent of immigration warnings from January to March of this year were not examined further.
The agency has, for example, developed pre-approval programs that enable low-risk travellers to get across the border quickly. But, unlike their U.S. counterparts, Canadian border guards do not consider intelligence reports in assessing applicants.
Fraser added that the agency must do spot inspections. "They are focusing all of their inspections now on cases that they identify as high risk, and the only way to really ensure the system is effective is if you do these random checks," she said.
Each year, the Canada Border Services Agency's officers allow 96 million people into Canada, including tourists, immigrants and refugees, business people and returning Canadians. They also approve entry of more than C$400 billion (US$419 billion) in goods.
Fraser also noted that weaknesses in the agency's data collection systems prevent it from confirming which risks are most important.
"The agency has not established its desired levels of border openness and security and, as a result, cannot know whether it is achieving them."
The auditor general has linked some of these problems to recent overhauls of the system and poor management, with the auditor general's report saying that C$525 million invested in technology in the past three years "had not been guided by a strategic plan for information technology or information management."

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Job program fuels fraud fears

Highly touted provincial initiative that fast-tracks skilled immigrants is being abused, report says

October 29, 2007

A highly touted immigration program that allows provinces to hand-pick skilled immigrants to meet their labour needs is also exposing Canada to a high risk of fraud, according to an internal report obtained by the Star.
The Provincial Nominee Program gives provinces discretion to pre-select investors, entrepreneurs and skilled workers with job offers for fast-track processing, dramatically cutting the wait to immigrate from as long as five years to just a few months.
"Unfortunately, PNP applications continue to be our most time consuming in terms of fraud, thus having a negative impact on processing times," says the Canadian visa office in Beijing in an internal report to the immigration department.
"Another important issue," it adds, "is the problem of so called `economic fugitives.' The business caseload is typically comprised of rich applicants claiming to have made very large sums of money ... It has proven very difficult under those circumstances to differentiate between the legitimate, if unusually fortunate, businessman and those who may have obtained their wealth improperly."
It's not clear how many "nominees" may actually have succeeded in getting to Canada fraudulently, but more than 95 per cent of last year's crop were approved by federal immigration officials.
Nominee programs have become vital in the booming Western provinces, which face a serious shortage of skilled workers and investors and are eager to increase their quotas. Ontario launched a pilot program in May, with plans to nominate 450 skilled workers and 50 entrepreneurs/investors in its first year.
The number of newcomers arriving through such programs has tripled in three years, from 4,400 in 2003 to more than 13,300 last year.
Sources say visa offices where fraudulent applications have become a big problem include Beijing, New Delhi, Islamabad and Kiev.
"Although the attraction of Canada for qualified skilled workers has diminished, strong push factors remain for those whom China's economic progress has not brought substantial gains," says the Beijing report.
"Consequently the level of fraud ... remains high. Organized fraud is endemic in the PNP program and marriages with Canadians and permanent residents are openly advertised as a means of gaining entry to Canada."
Toronto immigration consultant Ron Guan says most frauds involve fake documents, primarily because Canadian officials rely on China's own public notary office to verify their authenticity.
"I've seen unqualified people being accepted and well-qualified people being rejected by the PNP program. There have been nominee candidates who use the orientation opportunity to enter Canada and file refugee claims," notes Guan, who has been a consultant for 17 years and has two offices in China.
"The PNP is a great program," he adds, "but the provinces have a lower par than the federal officials and they count on the feds to scrutinize the candidates who appear to fit the needs. They need to communicate better and must always ask candidates for original documents, not just the notarized copies."
First introduced in Manitoba in 1998 as a way of drawing immigrants to settle outside the usual gateway cities, the program involves a two-step process. Applicants must pass provincial background and qualification screening before proceeding to the federal medical, security and criminal clearances overseas.
"To immigrate to Canada through the federal program, you have to get 67 points to qualify. What happens is, for a lot of people, the only way to come in is through the PNP program. And unfortunately, it also attracts fraudsters," explains Quebec immigration lawyer Richard Kurland. "The program allows construction workers, truck drivers and labourers to come in, but how do you assess those skills and qualifications?"
Administrators of Ontario's PNP program say they have found no evidence of attempted fraud and are pleased with the quality of the applications. The program has several "anti-fraud" components:
Special non-copy paper on which nomination certificates and pre-screen approval forms are printed.
Affidavits provided by both the employer and nominee to reduce misrepresentation or fraud.
A stipulation that providing false or misleading information will result in an applicant being refused and disqualified permanently.
"We are confident that we have the necessary anti-fraud safeguards in place to protect the integrity of our pilot PNP program," says program manager Alan Diner. British Columbia's seven-year-old program processes skilled workers in four months and entrepreneurs within 18 months. Program manager Michael Chew says his 16-member staff's strict front-end screening helps drive up approval rates.
"The key is to deal with the credible employers only," he notes. "To qualify for the program, an employer must have a good track record and a minimum of five employees. It has to be in operation for at least one year."
Manitoba's nominee program is the centrepiece of its strategy to reverse its declining economic and population growth. It accepted 6,600 nominees last year.
These workers have helped meet needs in agriculture, construction and manufacturing, and eased shortages of meat-cutters and truck drivers.
"Frauds are usually associated with paid third-party representatives.
``To avoid frauds, (our staff) refuse to deal with them. You have to pick your source countries carefully and avoid places that are known for a high level of fraudulent activities," explains Ben Rempel, Manitoba's assistant deputy minister of labour and immigration.


Here is a warning note: delays at the Passport Office are getting worse. You should allow AT LEAST SIX WEEKS to renew your passport, even with the simplified process.

Delays plague passport office
It takes at least six weeks to get document by mail, two weeks longer than benchmark

The Canadian Press
October 29, 2007 at 5:42 AM EDT

OTTAWA — Passport Canada is reporting continued long delays in processing mailed-in passport applications, despite a streamlined renewal process and hundreds of new employees.
And there is concern those delays will only get longer as the busy winter travel season approaches.
Officials blame a glut of new applicants for the delays, as demand for the documents continues to soar.
It now takes a minimum of six weeks to get a passport through the mail; two weeks longer than the agency's benchmark of four weeks.
And that doesn't include the time it takes to get applications and documents through Canada Post.
Passport Canada spokesman Fabien Lengelle said many more people have applied for passports in the past six months than applied within the same period last year.
"The reason we have delays is that we have a very, very high demand," Mr. Lengelle said.
In October, 2006, Passport Canada was issuing about 13,000 passports a day. By late last spring, that number had reached 21,000.
Since the start of April, the beginning of the fiscal year, the agency has issued 2.2 million passports, a 42-per-cent increase from the same period in 2006-2007 when just 1.5 million were issued.
In June, then-foreign affairs minister Peter MacKay announced measures to speed up the processing of passport applications, including a simplified renewal process.
At the time, there was a backlog of roughly 170,000 applications.
Since then, Passport Canada has hired nearly 700 new employees, raising the number of passport officers and clerks to the equivalent of more than 2,600 full-time personnel.
Agency officials won't divulge the size of the current backlog, arguing that the number fluctuates from day to day.
"[Backlog] is not a very accurate measure," Mr. Lengelle said. "Demand is the true driver here."
The new renewal process, which came into effect Aug. 15, allows Canadians to renew their passports without getting guarantors, as long as their current passport is less than a year from expiry and has never been lost or stolen.
Traditionally, the busiest time of year for Passport Canada is the period from Nov. 1 through the end of March.
The agency is preparing for a further upswing in demand, but acknowledges delays could lengthen. "It all depends on demand," Mr. Lengelle said. "If demand goes above capacity, then we will have [further] delays," he added.
"Passport Canada is doing everything it can to raise its capacity to a level where we will be able to meet demand over the coming months."
The agency has been able to maintain a two-week timetable for processing applications delivered in person at passport offices.
As well, Canadians who can apply in person, are willing to pay more and who can prove they will be travelling sooner, can get a passport within 24 hours on an urgent basis, or through Passport Canada's "express" service.
But that doesn't help the thousands of Canadians who have no choice but to use the mail system to obtain travel documents.
Demand for passports has increased dramatically since the United States imposed rules requiring them for air travellers. Similar rules are expected to be in place as early as next summer for land travel across the U.S. border.
In the United States, demand also peaked earlier this year from Americans seeking passports, causing significant disruptions to some people's summer travel plans.
But the State Department announced last month it had worked through a massive backlog of passport applications and that its processing times were back to normal after months of major delays.
However, the normal waiting period for a standard passport application in the United States is six to eight weeks - three weeks for expedited service. U.S. officials deal with 17 million passport applications annually.


Here is a new Statistics Canada Study: daughters of immigrants do better than sons. Thsi appears to be true even after considering regional differences. No apparent explanation for this phenomenon is offered, though...See article:

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


As co-Chair of the International Bar Association (IBA) Immigration and nationality Committee, I had the privilege of moderating an interesting session on Global Business Immigration at the conference in Singapore last week. I also participated in several other sessions, some attended by high-ranking government officials from Hong Kong and Singapore. I was also invited to a private reception hosted by the President of Singapore at the Istana Palace.


Canadians want illegal immigrants deported: poll
By Jack Aubry The CanWest News Service (Canada), October 20, 2007
Ottawa -- A majority of Canadians believe immigrants who are in the country illegally or after their visas expire should be deported, even if they have family ties in the country, a newly released government poll shows. Conducted for Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the national poll revealed that respondents didn't make a distinction between 'undocumented workers' and 'workers without the proper work permits,' with nearly two-thirds of Canadians coming down hard on illegal immigrants because they did not follow the rules. 'Half say that they feel the same way about immigrants who have studied in Canada and have the potential to contribute to this country but who are now here illegally because their visas have run out,' said the poll summary. As well, a slight majority said immigrants who did not go through the proper application process should be deported despite the existence of family members already in the country. Prof. Peter Showler, director of the Refugee Forum at the University of Ottawa, said it is a 'very high Canadian value' to oppose queue-jumping by anyone in the country, including immigrants. 'We are a very civil society and we like the idea that people should play by the rules, and we don't like it when there are rule-breakers and I think that has been a fairly consistent view,' said Mr. Showler. However, he added that Canadians are very 'schizophrenic' on the issue and once personal details about an immigrant, who is about to be deported, become public through the media, they often become extremely supportive. He said estimates on the number of illegal immigrants in Canada generally range from 35,000 to 120,000 -- a relatively small percentage of the national population when compared to 13 million in the United States. The federal government is releasing its latest survey as the heated debate over reasonable accommodation of minorities, which started in Quebec, spreads across the country, drawing in issues of multiculturalism and immigration. The Conservative government promised in the throne speech to bring in legislation forcing voters to show their faces when casting ballots. Residents in Quebec, at 70%, were much more likely to mention 'reasonable accommodation' than any other region in Canada, where no more than five per cent cited this response when asked to mention aspects of immigration in the news. The Quebec government is currently holding hearings into reasonable accommodation across the province. In the poll, Canadians identified both the positive and negative aspects of immigration. The pro-immigration aspects were identified as giving a boost to the workforce by bringing in more labourers and highly skilled people while increasing cultural diversity. 'Negative aspects identified include the perception that there is a lack of integration in that immigrants are imposing their culture instead of adapting to ours, the desire of immigrants to have Canada accommodate them, the impact that immigration has on Canadian culture and the notion that immigrants groups tend to stay together and not mix with the rest of society,' said the poll report. The survey also found that despite Canadians' limited understanding of biometrics, three of five support their use once the effectiveness against the fraudulent use of identity documents is explained. 'They say that the federal government's main priority... should be maintaining security rather than protecting privacy,' said the report. In fact, 80% of the respondents predicted by the year 2010 that every adult will have at least one biometric ID on file somewhere to verify their identity. Overall, just over half of Canadians said that there are about the right number of immigrants coming to Canada while 27% said there were too many. The poll report, which was completed in May, involved 1,200 telephone interviews with adult Canadians and carries a margin of error of 2.8%, 19 times out of 20. It was the first time the government had asked questions about deporting illegal immigrants in Canada. The poll cost about $40,000.