Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Nice parents you have, there.

It would sure be a shame if they died before your so-called family got a chance to re-unite, right?

It's not a stretch to imagine Jason "Like A Virgin" Kenney chuckling with his HarperCon cronies over this situation.

The government has banked tens of millions of dollars in immigrant application fees while taking little action to process the applications — a problem that will only be worsened when government reduces the overall number of visas issued in 2011 from 2010 levels, recently released government documents show.

The documents were made public by a University of Ottawa law professor who is currently at loggerheads with the federal government over his own parents' immigration application and who has been critical of the government on other issues.

Some of the most significant reductions, the documents show, will be seen in visas issued to parents and grandparents. The number of visas awarded to those would-be immigrants will decrease to 11,200 in 2011 from 16,800 in 2010, intensifying the congested backlog of more than 147,000 files waiting to be processed, according to the documents. Immigrants who applied to sponsor parents and grandparents have paid approximately $45 million for "nothing," said professor Amir Attaran, a Canadian who is also an immigrant. [...]

Attaran filed an application in the summer of 2009 to sponsor his own parents, who currently live in California. To date, Citizenship and Immigration Canada hasn't completed the first of the two-stage process, he said Monday. He said his frustration with the system led him to launch a lawsuit last summer against Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

More here.

Just in case you thought Attaran's situation was unusual, MP Navdeep Bains had harsh words for the arbitrary policy change, without any public discussion.

[...] Conservative Immigration Minister Jason Kenney’s decision to cut family reunification visas by over 30%. “This decision means keeping families apart for up to 13 years,” said Mr. Bains. “We should be looking at ways to bring families together the Conservatives are out of touch with what New Canadian families need”.

Mr. Kenney’s announcement comes as the Harper Government looks to cut immigration by 5% overall. To meet this target the Harper Government has decided to cut family reunification visas by 5,000, from 16,000 a year to 11,000. This 30% reduction will compound existing wait times.

“These cuts will affect Canadian families across the country and will reverse decades of immigration policies from governments of different parties.” said Mr. Bains. “We have a moral obligation to give our new citizens a fair start and I don`t see how keeping a family apart for 13 years helps anyone”.“The Conservative Party would rather build new prisons than reunite families,” said Mr. Bains referring to the Government`s record spending prison building program. "I think it`s fair to say that their out of touch with the needs of everyday Canadians".

From here.

So, if your family doesn't look like Stevie Spiteful's nuclear family - Daddy, Mommy and 2 children - and it happens to be an extended one with uncles, aunts, grand-parents all pitching in to raise the next generation, and helping out with chores and financial support, don't bother to complete an immigration sponsorship form unless you want to lose more of your hard-earned savings to the HarperCons schemes.

Grand merci to Dr Dawg who spotted the Con jobs' hypocrisy.

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