New Immigration Minister Joe Volpe should begin his job by taking a good look at the case of refugee-claimant, Harjit Singh, but he has to realize that the Singh case is only one of hundreds of problems that Immigration Canada suffers from.
According to The National Post (Jan. 15), Mr. Singh and his wife arrived in Canada in March,1988 and claimed refugee status two months later. Like many of the 500,000+ people making such claims since 1988, Mr. Singh argued that if he and his wife were sent home, the local government would arrest and torture them for past criticism of Indian officials.
According to Dan Murray, a spokesperson for Immigration Watch Canada, here are a few questions the new minister should ask:
“(1) Why has this case dragged on for 17 years? Mr. and Mrs. Singh were ordered deported in 1992, yet they have been able to make appeal after appeal to stall and prevent deportation. In other words, should refugee claimants (most of whom have been coached by immigration lawyers and most of whom are really economic migrants) have unending appeal options available to them?
“(2) How much has this case cost Canada? Mr. and Mrs. Singh’s case is but one of at least 10’s, maybe 100’s, of thousands. Exactly how many cases like theirs have there been since his started in 1988? How much have all of these cases cost Canada?
“(3) Mr. and Mrs. Singh brought their three children to Canada in the early 1990’s. Why, in the midst of their legal tangles, were they allowed to do this? And why, according to The National Post, were their three children granted Convention Refugee status in 1994? How many other refugee-claimants used the same tactic (again undoubtedly with the coaching of immigration
lawyers) to complicate their cases and put new pressure on refugee boards?
Was Canada required to pay for the cost of the care of the Singh children and other children brought here in similar cases? If so, how much?
“(4) Generally, if immigration lawyers have been complicit in breaking Canadian law, why have past immigration ministers made a practice of meeting with them as ‘stake-holders’ whenever any changes are to be made to refugee policies? As numerous critics have asked, isn’t this like police consulting with Hell’s Angels before making changes to organized crime laws? In other words, why haven’t Canadians been told exactly what the economic, environmental and cultural consequences of current mass immigration and extremely lenient refugee policies will be since Canadians are the real ‘stakeholders’?
“(5) And to move the discussion to the larger legal immigration issue, the new minister has to ask, ‘Why is Canada accepting so many people (about 250,000 immigrants) per year?’ Please don’t tell Canadians that this is good economically, or that Canada’s population is declining, or that Canada needs them because its population is aging. The federal government’s own studies have stated that immigration produces negligible economic benefits; that Canada’s population is not declining; and that in-country solutions are superior to immigration for the issue of Canada’s aging population.
“So, Mr. Volpe, it’s time to start at square one. When you have found the answers to these questions, tell Canadians. Unlike your predecessors, don’t treat them like mushrooms by feeding them lots of horse manure and keeping them in the dark.
“Oh, and one more thing. Be prepared to get your legendary hair-do messed up. You and all Canadians will be the better off if, in the process, Canadians see major reductions in immigration levels and a major clean-up of the refugee mess.”