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A Muslim immigrant's letter to South Vancouver MP Wai Young's


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Dear Swan,

I appreciate your email. However, both my partner and I have waited over five years for the vaguely termed "security background checks" process to end so that we can have some sort of finality in our lives.

As far as Immigration Canada is concerned, I would like to point out the following:

They have exhibited a carelessness, lack of empathy and incompetence during this whole process. In part, this has can be illustrated with the following examples:

a) They called me to tell me that a letter asking me to pick up my permanent resident card was a "mistake" and not to show up for the assigned time.

b>They told me in 2011 that my PR card was in the local office and would be in the mail "within a week," only to renege and not even have the common courtesy to explain why.

c) A CIC representative told me over the phone that he has no idea what is going on and that there are two filing systems that are overlapping and not synchronized.

d) The F.B.I., the California Department of Justice, the Texas Department of Public Safety have all sent letters to CIC vouching for the fact that I do not have any kind of a criminal record.

e) I have been a citizen of the United States since 1999, and a resident since 1994. I have NEVER gotten into any kind of legal troubles, neither criminal nor civil.

Given all the above, my question is: What possible reason is there for my application being held in limbo, with no information forthcoming, for over five years?

As far as Wai Young's local office in her constituency of South Vancouver and your personal conduct is concerned, I would like to point out the following:

a) I was severely disappointed that you did not warrant my personal pain and grievance at being treated in such a manner by CIC worthy of any kind of personal attention by Miss Young.

b>Miss Young apparently does not think that my wife (a Canadian citizen), or her father (a Canadian citizen) warrant any special attention. We will be sure to tell of our experience with your office to others. My father in law is very well known and influential in the local Sikh community, and he will be sure to give voice to our feelings about Miss Young and her attitude far and wide.

c) Your question of whether I had considered giving up a five year old application process to return to the United States was extremely insensitive and callous.

d) I understand that Miss Young is an MP for the Conservative party, led by Stephen Harper no less, and that she is not expected to be particularly concerned about immigrant issues. However, given the fact that you are either the child of immigrants as is Miss Young, I found both your attitudes shameful at best and inhumane at worse.

e) Next time you ask someone why they don't just drop an application for immigration and return to where they came from, I would ask you to consider the following:

1) It takes a lot of logistical, psychological, financial and personal investment to move from one country to another and wait five years for an immigration application that should normally take no more than two years.

2) It is very hurtful that someone who is supposed to help my family would suggest such a thing, albeit in a polite tone.

3) Immigration policies that are based on and take advantage of the fear and prejudice engendered against one particular ethnicity or religious group set a dangerous precedent that could affect you in the future. One can only imagine what would happen in case of a major conflagration between the United States and China (a very possible scenario in the not too distant future) given Canada standing as a member of NATO. You or your children could very well face the kind of hurtful discrimination that my family has faced under such a scenario. Your smug assumption that you are 'Canadian' enough to treat me in such a manner will come crashing down under such circumstances. Please don't forget that you are the child of an immigrants, and however, 'Canadian' you may perceive yourself, you are only one international incident away from being treated with suspicion for no fault of your own.

Sincerely,

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I'm the one who wrote the letter.

Background:

I immigrated to Canada from the U .S. in 2009. My wife is a Canadian citizen. We were approved for spousal sponsorship within 6 months. In 2011, I called CIC, and they said that my file had been txferred to the local Vancouver office, and I would get my PR card within a week. Then, I was told that it was undergoing a security review. I was very understanding. It is something to be expected given that I am Muslim. But, it is now 2014. I have no problems with security background checks. What upsets me is that I am continuously misled. All I want is some sort of concrete update. Instead, I'm thrown into this limbo.

In the words of one CIC rep. I spoke to on the phone: "It could take 1 year, it could take 10 years."

I think this is totally unfair.

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I really appreciate your sympathy. You have no idea how much it means. Just to hear someone acknowledge the pain I've undergone is so relieving. Thank you for being so kind. I posted here to start a discussion and get some attention.

Well, I would go to community newspapers and write a letter to the MP, and deliver it in person.

I have been through the immigration process, it's very sad how you can be treated.

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You can not do this:

... but plan to post it on other forums and share it publicly further. `re

In this forum, we avoid re-copying stuff available on other places on the internet. Your writing here must be unique to this forum regardless of where you post it first.

This is what I recommend: Start a new thread discussion and take out the letter. Talk about your challenges and your experiences but make it directed to the general public.

or

Make sure that the other posts that you make in the other forums do not contain the same text that we see here at MLW. Make it very different.

Thanks!

Ch. A.

mod

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Make sure that the other posts that you make in the other forums do not contain the same text that we see here at MLW. Make it very different.

Well, no. I change things more than that but as far as I understand that's ok. Let's see if I'm wrong.

One says one thing, another says another thing.

Good luck hardworker. Keep harping at them and hopefully somebody in the media will take up your fight. Seems like they are playing games with you . Anytime you dela with the govt its always good to dumb yourself down to their level.

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I don't understand the "led by Stephen Harper no less" part. I also don't understand the NATO reference.

The Stephen Harper part is in reference to the conservative government's policies on immigration, pension reform etc. The NATO reference is directed at the fact that if China and the U.S. ever go to war (God forbid), a scenario that is increasingly likely if one follows the Asia-Pacific build up, then Canada would find itself in a position that is awkward to say the least. If there were mass American casualties as there will inevitably be if such a scenario plays out, Chinese Canadians will suddenly find themselves feeling a lot like Muslim Canadians often do-both due to no fault of their own.

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The Stephen Harper part is in reference to the conservative government's policies on immigration, pension reform etc. The NATO reference is directed at the fact that if China and the U.S. ever go to war (God forbid), a scenario that is increasingly likely if one follows the Asia-Pacific build up, then Canada would find itself in a position that is awkward to say the least. If there were mass American casualties as there will inevitably be if such a scenario plays out, Chinese Canadians will suddenly find themselves feeling a lot like Muslim Canadians often do-both due to no fault of their own.

And what exactly is the conservative governments policies on immigration? How do they differ from the previous liberal government? What in the world does pension reform have to do with anything? And what is this ridiculous talk of an American/Chinese war? You're starting to sound like a crazy person. And the vast majority of Canadian Muslims feel just fine. It's one reason why they continue to immigrate to Canada. Hundreds every day!
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And what exactly is the conservative governments policies on immigration? How do they differ from the previous liberal government? What in the world does pension reform have to do with anything? And what is this ridiculous talk of an American/Chinese war? You're starting to sound like a crazy person. And the vast majority of Canadian Muslims feel just fine. It's one reason why they continue to immigrate to Canada. Hundreds every day!

Ok fine. I get it. You're conservative. I can deduce as much from your posts. But, take away the references that seem to offend you and you would agree that my treatment has been unfair correct?

Edited by hardworker786
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One says one thing, another says another thing.

Good luck hardworker. Keep harping at them and hopefully somebody in the media will take up your fight. Seems like they are playing games with you . Anytime you dela with the govt its always good to dumb yourself down to their level.

Thank you Guyser. Much appreciated.

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If what you're saying is true, hardworker, I'm sorry the government has given you the run-around. You deserve some kind of update on the progress of your application and some basic service. I once had to get a refund from Canada Customs on an over-charge and it took years.

I'd try calling some immigration law firms and maybe you can get some very quick and basic advice from them for free over the phone (like who to call), or keep contacting different MP's in your area.

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A quarter of a million people immigrate to Canada every year, more or less. The process is certainly time-consuming and filled with bureacracy, but it seems to me there's stuff here we're not seeing. Most pertinently, what in particular about this file, about this individual, is causing the government, or at least, the bureacracy, some concern? I mean, either we determine this is the standard, and so far as I'm aware it is not, or there's something someone in the government considers to be... different.

I mean, why would the office of Wai Young, presumably, these people's MP, suggest giving up on the application? Why is it being held up? There has to be a reason? If it's just a red tape mess, well, MPs offices are generally pretty good at kicking things free. If it's a security issue, ie, the individual is suspected of something (sympathy for sikh terrorism?) that would be a different matter.

Although I agree the determination should not take five years. The application should either have been accepted or rejected by now.

Edited by Argus
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Yes, I agree, but the reason could just be rudeness to someone who isn't seen as a true stakeholder in Canada.

No, it couldn't be. Bureacracies don't operate like that, and if they did, MPs offices would most certainly remedy the situation.

If I had to offer up a guess it would be that someone fairly high up believes the individual is, because of some previous/present associations or behaviours, undesirable here but doesn't believe they could make that stick with the courts, so is delaying things indefinitely in hopes of either garnering new information or that the individual will give up.

Edited by Argus
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No, it couldn't be. Bureacracies don't operate like that, and if they did, MPs offices would most certainly remedy the situation.

Really ? People aren't rude in bureaucracies. Hmm.

My experience says something different, since the person providing the service has a monopoly on it and they also know full well how to work the system.

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Really ? People aren't rude in bureaucracies. Hmm.

My experience says something different, since the person providing the service has a monopoly on it and they also know full well how to work the system.

Not sure if you replied before I had edited my reply. I think you probably did. But even so, you ignored my statement about MPs offices. If I haven't mentioned it before, my mother worked in an MPs office for some years. Most of her time was spent on the phone with various departments and agencies kicking files through on behalf of clients because they were being held for this or that reason. That's what MPs offices do And I can attest from personal experience that a call from an MPs office is taken VERY seriously by the bureacracy.

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People can be rude in bureaucracies, but that's not going to hold up an application. PR applications aren't done over the counter face to face. People that process those applications don't see or know the people applying personally.

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People can be rude in bureaucracies, but that's not going to hold up an application. PR applications aren't done over the counter face to face. People that process those applications don't see or know the people applying personally.

When you put it that way, it all sounds Kafkaesque. Perhaps we should consider making the process more transparent for everyone's sake.

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