In the unfolding drama of the international students deportation case, the New Democratic Party (NDP) is making its voice heard. Jenny Kwan, NDP’s critic for the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), is advocating for an immediate halt to the deportations and a clear pathway to permanent residency for those affected by the fake offer letter scandal.
Jenny Kwan’s Intervention
Jenny Kwan, Member of Parliament for Vancouver East, recently expressed her concerns to the Immigration Minister, Sean Fraser. She stressed that the IRCC should take immediate action in suspending the deportations of students impacted by the fraud, waive any inadmissibility based on misrepresentation, and provide them with an option to apply for permanent residency.
In addition to her plea to Minister Fraser, Kwan has also called on the Minister of Public Safety, Marco Mendicino, to expedite resolution of the situation. She is urging the affected students to reach out to her office for assistance.
Protests and the Students’ Demands
On June 2, 2023, the students affected by this crisis marched to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) headquarters, brandishing placards and stating their demands. This protest has garnered significant support, including from fellow international students, the business community, singers, and licensed immigration consultants from the Punjabi community.
The students handed over a letter to the CBSA, detailing their experiences, their contributions to Canada’s economy, and their claims of being victims rather than criminals. They urged Canadian authorities to overturn the deportation orders, investigate those involved in the fraud, and issue them temporary work permits. They also asked for their cases to be dismissed, allowing them to move forward with their future.
Concerns Regarding the Proposal for Direct PR
Kubeir Kamal of Ask Kubeir Immigration acknowledged that these students could indeed be victims deserving of another chance. However, he also expressed concerns regarding Kwan’s call for direct PR for these students. Kamal suggested that such a measure might send an undesired message to other international students who are diligently working towards obtaining their own PR through legitimate means.
Understanding the International Students Deportation Case
For those still unfamiliar with the situation, here’s a quick recap of the international students deportation case. This scandal revolves around international students from Punjab, India, who came to Canada in 2017-2018, allegedly using fake offer letters from Canadian colleges. These letters were reportedly forged by their immigration consultants, unbeknownst to the students.
These students unknowingly enrolled in different colleges based on the advice of these consultants, completed their studies, and applied for work permits. However, after applying for Canadian PR, they received removal orders due to misrepresentation.
The Response from IRCC
On May 26, Sean Fraser, the IRCC Minister, tweeted that the focus should be on identifying the culprits and not on penalizing the victims. While the department is taking a slow approach in unmasking the culprits, Lovepreet Singh, one of the affected students, is scheduled to be deported on June 13, 2023. In response, Singh and others have begun peaceful protests outside the CBSA building in Mississauga.
The Obstacles to Lifting Deportation
The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) section 40 (1)(a) defines misrepresentation as “directly or indirectly misrepresenting or withholding material facts relating to a relevant matter that induces or could induce an error in the administration of this Act.”
If an exception is made for these students, it could potentially set a precedent for similar cases in the future. However, it’s crucial to note that 90% of these cases are linked to a fraudulent lawyer in India, now facing criminal charges. This points to the likelihood that the students are victims too, suggesting that an exception should be made on compassionate grounds.
The international students deportation case has stirred much debate and attention. The NDP’s call for a PR pathway offers hope, but also raises questions about fairness and potential precedents. Ultimately, the IRCC’s response and subsequent actions will determine the students’ future in Canada.
1. What is the international students deportation case about? The case involves international students, mostly from Punjab, India, who came to Canada using alleged fake offer letters from Canadian colleges, unknowingly becoming victims of immigration fraud.
2. What are the students’ demands? The students are demanding an overturn of their deportation orders, issuance of temporary work permits, dismissal of their cases, and an investigation into the people involved in the fraud.
3. How has Jenny Kwan, Member of Parliament for Vancouver East, responded to this issue? Kwan has called on the IRCC to halt the deportations, waive inadmissibility due to misrepresentation, and provide the students with a pathway to permanent residency.
4. Who is opposing the proposal for a direct PR pathway for the affected students? Kubeir Kamal of Ask Kubeir Immigration has raised concerns about this proposal, suggesting it could send the wrong message to other international students working hard to obtain PR through legitimate means.
5. How is the government handling this case? The government is taking a slow approach in identifying the culprits, focusing on not penalizing the victims, as stated by IRCC Minister Sean Fraser. However, some of the students affected by this case are scheduled for deportation.