Tuesday, May 09, 2006
And no one's responded to any of my inquiries. Not the Minister, not the Director General, not the visa office. I lost my cool and fired off this email to some MPs and news organizations. I don't know how many more tearful phone calls I can take. I do know that I've promised Trang I'd move to Vietnam if she's not here by next year. Wasting any more than 3 years of our lives would be a little too much to bear.
Yes I'd rather live in a communist country where my rights mean shit than to live without her. I've learned and grown so much these past few years. Money, the 1st world lifestyle, none of it means that much to me anymore. The rest of the world can go about it's fruitless wealth collecting ways. Like they say, for richer or poorer, I've found my peace. And no one's going to take it from me.
"Hon. Monte Solberg (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, CPC): Mr. Speaker, Canada has the most generous immigration system in the world. Every year we allow 250,000 people to permanently land. Hundreds of thousands of other people come here as students or on work permits.
My point is that we have shown extraordinary generosity to hundreds of people who are here as undocumented workers. However, there are 800,000 people who are trying to get into Canada today legally. What message does it send if we allow people who are here without documents to get ahead of those who are playing by the rules?"
-- This myth ends here. Now. --
In 2005, the United States granted permanent residence to 1,122,373 immigrants. The average processing time at a Canadian visa office for all types of permanent residence is over 4 years. In 2002 Citizenship and Immigration Canada imposed a secret moratorium on parental sponsorships. As of 2006 Canada has donated $16,346,829 to the United Nations refugee effort. We rank #9 behind Norway, Sweden, and the United States. And we currently do not respect the UN Convention against Torture.
Notable moments in Canadian history. (1755) Acadian Deportation, (1885) Chinese Head Tax, (1923) Chinese Exclusion Act, (1907) Japanese immigrant quota set to 450 people a year, (1914) War Measures Act forces Japanese-Canadians into internment camps. Canada supplies arms to the war in Vietnam. Literally, creating the humanitarian crisis they would later take part in. I should know. I am Canadian. I was also one of those refugees. I came here without documents. How can anyone expect a refugee to have a full set of papers? We don't all live in 1st world nations.
The $975 Right of Permanent Residence Fee has been reduced to $490. However, there will be no increases to the annual immigration quotas. There has been no annoucement for increased staffing or funding for the immigration department despite recommendations from the Standing Committee. The cost of entry is reduced which may or may not increase the number of future applicants. Combine this with the massive backlog and you have a recipe for even longer wait times. Short term gain, long term pain. It's all the more insulting because your department pockets millions from potential Canadians yet you do not deliver the services expected. This results in more and more mandamus cases filed. Honestly, how many class actions does it take for you to get the message?
Do I feel resentment towards illegal immigrants, Mr. Solberg? NO. Because your system is not 1st come 1st served. I hold no grudges against anyone wanting a better life. I am stating this to make a point - Immigration Canada admits to queue jumping. Think about it. The wait times for legal applicants is obscene. It's no wonder people go out of their way to avoid the red tape. Your system *encourages* this.
The only reason why Canada's immigration laws have improved is through the blood , sweat, and tears of immigrants and their supporters. Canada is a compassionate nation but our immigration system is certainly not "the best in the world". Mr. Solberg, my wife is a part of that 800,000 person backlog. I've never been more ashamed. We can do better. And I'm not the only one that's come to this conclusion. The Canadian Bar Assocation and your own Standing Committee echo my views.
No one will stand up for us. Indeed most immigrants fear to speak out. I don't blame them. Why risk retaliation? We've shown the world we're willing to use children as bait. If you find these words to be harsh. Know that the truth hurts. You trample on the rights of the individual and you damage us all.
We should be reminded that Jesus Christ was a refugee; Einstein an immigrant. We claimed this land from its indigenous culture. We are all immigrants. Indeed "There are no passengers on spaceship Earth. We are all crew." - Marshall McLuhan
Someone. Anyone. Help us. http://tvantu.blogspot.com
realistic ETA: maybe 2 to 3 more months. Am I gonna sit still for futher abuses?... Not bloody likely. ;)