U.S. claim British family entered country illegally on purpose
A British family of seven, who earlier this month, crossed the U.S. border illegally, have had their claim that they entered accidentally rejected.
The family entered into the U.S. state of Washington from British Columbia through a ditch. Despite this, the family claimed that this act was entirely unintentional; only wishing to take a “brief detour” on a rural road to avoid an animal.
A family in Calgary is attempting to avoid deportation from Canada. The family is from Sri Lanka and two of their children were born in Canada.
Maneth Fernando is the eldest son in the family at 9-years-old. He wrote a letter to Marco Mendicino, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada as a last resort to ask Ottawa to help his family stay in the country.
In an interview with CTV News, Maneth said, “Canada is a safe place with lots of good schools and my friends are here. If I go back, the kids in the Sri Lankan schools will laugh at me because I can only speak English.”
In the letter, Maneth mentioned that he was worried that “something bad will happen” to his family if they are forced to go back to Sri Lanka—his parents birthplace.
His parents are Nishan Fernando and Sulakshana Hewage two of their three children were born in Canada. One is 4-years-old and the other is only 15 months.
It has been arranged by the Canada Border Service Agency that the family be flown to Colombo, Sri Lanka on March 3. This decision has come after years of court proceedings.
Udani Perera, the family’s lawyer, said, “There are two Canadian born kids here and the only options that my clients were given is to put the Canadian-born into foster care and go back to Sri Lanka, which is completely unacceptable.”
The couple fled Sri Lanka and made their way to Canada with their first son in 2012. Fernando told officials that he feared for the safety of his family because his uncle was involved in criminal activity.
He told CTV News, “We were seeking a safe place for my kids and family.”
Federal Court documents showed that Fernando’s uncle was a contract killer, a political fixer and a loan shark. He also had connections to high up politicians.
The uncle that Fernando was referring to has been murdered since the family left Sri Lanka. He was the man who raised Fernando.
Until 2016, Fernando had worker status in Canada. In May of 2016, his permanent residency application was refused. Ottawa said that Sri Lanka did not pose enough of a safety threat to the family who has claimed to have been attacked twice in the past.
In 2018, the claim was rejected again.
Another application was submitted by the family about five months ago. The application is still on a waiting list and cannot stop the family from being sent back while on the list.
The IRCC statement noted, “If applicants have to leave the country, their application for permanent residence will continue to be processed.”
Their lawyer, Perera, thinks the family will not be safe if they return to Sri Lanka.
“There are serious threats to their lives,” she said.
Over 50,000 immigrants, many who illegally entered Canada through the border, were ordered deported but remain in the country, according to Blacklock’s Reporter.
Much of this has to do with the appeal process, which can take over two years to be completed. The cabinet blamed the lack of removals on the “complexities” of the individual’s cases.
“The Agency cannot enforce a removal order unless there are no more grounds justifying a stay of removal under the Immigration And Refugee Protection Act,” the cabinet further added.
Over the past three years, the RCMP has intercepted 56,515 immigrants illegally entering Canada—mainly deriving from Hati and Nigeria. The vast majority of these immigrants remain in the country.
Much of this is owed to opaque bureaucratic red-tape. Any individual, for instance, can appeal their deportation notice to the Immigration and Refugee Board. After this, they can then ask a judge to review the case.
As a result of this, there is now a backlog of 64,929 cases relating to illegal immigration.
In order to resolve the strain this has placed on Canada’s government, the deputy immigration minister, Michael MacDonald, stated that the Immigration and Refugee Board was hiring some “several hundred new employees.”
In 2017 the Liberals were accused of screening out senior Conservative-appointed judges at the Immigration and Refugee Board in the two appeals divisions. These judges with experience were responsible for processing the cases of immigrants ordered deported, and experts cite this changing of staff for patronage appointments as contributing to the backlog.
A Syrian refugee has become a Canadian citizen today and a celebration was held at Halifax’s Pier 21. Tareq Hadhad is the founder of Peace by Chocolate, a company out of Antigonish, N.S. that has been quite successful.
Tareq Hadhad was elated to be called up to officially receive his Canadian citizenship. “It’s the biggest day of my life, full of emotions, absolutely,” Hadhad said following the ceremony. He is the first of his family to become a Canadian citizen.
“It’s certainly an honour, I feel that I belong to this amazing nation. I feel that I am free and I will go out of this place so proudly saying that I am so honoured to be a Canadian at this moment.”
Hadhad will waste no time integrating himself into the Canadian culture, saying a top priority is to pick up “a double-double with a toonie and [fly] to watch a hockey game on the weekend.”
Making chocolate is a part of Hadhad’s family history as his father, Assam Hadhad, made chocolate back in Damascus for two decades, employing 30 people in his factory according to CBC. The factory was tragically bombed amid the turmoil and warfare.
Prior to the outbreak of war the company used to ship specialty treats across the Middle East.
Hadhad’s family settled in Antigonish in 2016 after fleeing from Syria. They opened Peace by Chocolate —which ships products throughout the country and employs about 55 people, including other refugees as well.
Marco Mendicino, minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship spoke at Wednesday’s ceremony, “With all the complexities in the world, I think this is just a wonderful silver lining and positive story. It demonstrates that immigration is a true hallmark of our history, but also the key to our future,”
Hadhad passed his Canadian citizenship test with a perfect score, a fact he proudly shared via Twitter. The post went viral, even attracting attention and congratulations from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Lucille Harper of Antigonish was instrumental in bringing the Hadhads to Canada. She was thrilled to see their successful immigration story. “It’s just all we could ever really hope for,” she said.
Hadhad’s family has applied for Canadian citizenship and they are hoping to be able to take the test within the next couple of months. Alaa Hadhad, Tareq’s sister said it would mean the world to her and her children to join Tareq’s family as Canadian citizens.
The federal government wants to introduce an immigration program in order to let certain cities and areas bring in new immigrants by taking local labour demands into account.
In the electoral campaign the Trudeau government said that they would be introducing the system. The person Prime Minister Trudeau designated for the job is Marco Mendico, a new immigration minister.
The goal of the program is to put some of the decision making abilities in the hands of local communities based on their needs. Trudeau’s mandate letter noted that there will be more than 5,000 spaces created by implementing the new program.
According to CBC, Mendico said that the program helps “to draw on local experiences, expertise, capacities to understand where are the labour shortages, where are the economic opportunities and how that information can help us select individuals who wish to come to Canada to ply their trade, to fulfil their opportunity.”
The current ratio of workers to retirees in Canada is 4:1 according to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). By 2035 that ratio is expected to drop to 2:1.
In the past ten years about three quarters of the population growth in Canada has been due to immigration. The IRCC projects that by 2031, this number will rise to 80 percent.
Similar programs have been put forward to bring newcomers into rural areas and Atlantic Canada to fill job positions.
Leah Nord, who works for the Canadian Chamber of Commerce as director of workforce strategies and inclusive growth, noted that there are labour gaps throughout the country. She added that close to 500,000 job positions are not being filled.
Many immigrants end up in Canada’s major cities and this program is meant to bring and keep skilled workers in smaller communities.
Nord told CBC, “One of the greatest ways to ensure immigration integration is a success is to have a job, to have labour market integration,” she added. “And that comes from the employer, from the chambers, from the business point of view. Having them involved in the beginning and making them those liaisons is key to success.”
She explained that a lot of immigrants will be able to “hit the ground running” by having job opportunities when they arrive.
Chief economist of The Conference Board of Canada, Pedro Antunes, mentioned that with ageing populations, immigrants will play a critical role in the labour market in Canada.
Antunes said, “The economic migrants play a big, big role … in helping us grow our workforce at a time when, if not for immigration, we’d actually be seeing a decline in the number of workers in Canada.”
According to the Conference Board, by 2030, the number of baby boomers reaching retirement age will be over nine million.
Mendicino’s mandate letter also says “This continues our modest and responsible increases to immigration, with a focus on welcoming highly skilled people who can help build a stronger Canada.”
Mendico is planning to review outcomes based on data and will be working directly with Canada’s provinces and territories.