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Independent topical source of current affairs, opinion and issues, featuring stories making news in Canada from immigrants, newcomers, minorities & ethnic communities' point of view and interests.

Citizenship And Immigration

Citizenship and Immigration Canada: Some call it clich while others call it irrefutable fact: our country has been and will continue to be built by immigrants. From economic prosperity to social harmony, the well-being of Canada and its people are intrinsically linked to both our immigration policy and the way immigrants are treated in this country, according to The Star. Where we stand on immigration is a reflection of who we are as a nation and Citizenship and Immigration Canada CIC is currently consulting the public on Canadas future immigration plan. Very few Canadians know about this, and even fewer may participate. Given the consultation design and the questions posed by CIC, perhaps that should not be a surprise. Yet immigration is forever a subject of polarized debate. On the one hand, with the aging population and ever declining birth rate, many Canadians economists and demographers among them are calling for a significant increase in immigration intakes. On the other side of the debate are those including some newcomers arguing for a decline or even a complete halt of immigration in light of current unemployment rates and the persistent underutilization of immigrants talents and skills. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada: On Tuesday, Citizenship and Immigration Canada retracted a statement from Alexander that said the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council had banned Selliah for unethical behaviour. , according to CBC. But the complaint against the Toronto-based immigration consultant was actually resolved without any finding of wrongdoing or fault, according to Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Negendra Selliah, a n immigration consultant, says federal Immigration Minister Chris Alexander has damaged his reputation after wrongfully accusing him of fraud. "Our government will not tolerate immigration fraud and we applaud the for taking action," Alexander said last Thursday. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada: A statement released Thursday from Citizenship and Immigration Canada says the federal government remains committed to helping new Canadians fully integrate into the economy, and it will assume direct management of settlement programs in B.C. in April, according to Huffington Post. B.C.'s Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk says the federal government gave the province $22 million a year for ESL training under the Canada-BC Immigration Agreement, and of that money his ministry received about $17 million and VICTORIA - Citizenship and Immigration Canada says federal English-as-a-second-language programs for new British Columbians will continue despite the provincial government's concerns about funding changes. The statement also says Citizenship and Immigration Canada has been working with the B.C. government to ensure there will be no service interruptions during the transition. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada: In a Star op-ed last week, immigrant advocates Debbie Douglas and Avvy Yao-Yao Go argued that the public consultation being conducted by Citizenship and Immigration Canada CIC is deeply flawed. CICs online background paper and survey questions, they claim, have an overwhelmingly economic slant designed to produce responses favouring economic-class immigrants at the expense of family-class ones and refugees. Therefore, the authors urge, Canadians should weigh in on the consultation in order to ensure a full range of perspectives not just economic ones shape CICs plans for Canadas future, according to The Star. For Canada as a country to succeed, we need immigrants of all backgrounds and skills to come here to build a permanent home. For immigrants to succeed, they need to have a sense of belonging that only comes about when their entire families are integrated into Canadian society and What if a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it? Thats an entertaining stumper. But what if immigration activists make an argument and no one grasps it? Thats something more serious and its a very real worry raised by current attempts to question the direction that Canadas immigration policy is taking. As for the nature of these non-economic perspectives, Douglas and Go assume them to be fairly self-evident. Immigration policy has multi-purpose roles captured by the concept of nation-building, they assert, adding: there is more to Canada than our GDP index or the size of our treasury. In line with that logic, they believe, a sound notion of national success goes well beyond economic statistics: (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada: TORONTO - Citizenship and Immigration Canada is reviewing its files to determine if there is evidence of applicants obtaining their citizenship fraudulently. , according to Winnipeg Free Press. The Mounties allege copies of the tests were used so that clients of a citizenship consultant could gain citizenship without meeting the proper requirements. Judge Philip Gaynor is pictured in 2008, in a CIC photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Citizenship and Immigration Canada This follows fraud and theft charges being laid against a former citizenship judge for allegedly passing copies of citizenship exams to a Toronto-area immigration consultant. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada: If they had to dance around in a moose hat, they d do it, said Mamann, a former immigration officer for Citizenship and Immigration Canada, according to The Star. Related : Jean Chr tien stopped plan to get rid of oath to Queen, says former minister Immigration lawyer Guidy Mamann says most of his clients will do just about anything to become a Canadian citizen. However, on Friday, three permanent residents of Canada challenged a portion of the Citizenship Act that requires them to swear allegiance to the Queen in order to become Canadian citizens. All three refuse to take the oath, which states: I affirm that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada: In a letter submitted with the woman's application for a visitor's visa, Mumtaz Ladha said she suffered from vertigo and osteo-arthritis, and needed to bring her longtime employee. , according to Winnipeg Free Press. "Letter from Canadian citizen employer on file states principal applicant has worked for her for five years. Employer states owns hair dresser salon and is a resident of Tanzania," Jessica Poon, a citizenship officer for Citizenship and Immigration Canada read in court from the woman's immigration file. VANCOUVER - A British Columbia woman accused of human trafficking told immigration officials she was bringing her Tanzanian caregiver to Canada because she needed her help during a two-month visit, the woman's trial heard Thursday. The application submitted to the Canadian embassy in Dar es-Salaam said the single, 23-year-old mother of one would be staying with her and would be supported by her for the duration of the visit. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada: The Mounties allege copies of the tests were used so that clients of a citizenship consultant could gain citizenship without meeting the proper requirements, according to CTV. The RCMP say their one-year investigation was started after an internal immigration department fraud probe and TORONTO -- A former Citizenship and Immigration Canada judge is facing charges for allegedly passing copies of citizenship exams to a Toronto-area immigration consultant. Police would not say how many clients were allegedly involved as the investigation is ongoing. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Citizenship and immigration Canada: In our view, there is not enough evidence to justify the effort and expense required for such a system-wide program change. Citizenship and immigration Canada has not quantified the extent of fraud resulting from birth tourism, said Ontario Deputy Immigration Minister Chisanga Puta-Chekwe, according to The Star. On Friday, a spokesperson for Ontario Immigration Minister Michael Chan said the province has not changed its position and The Ontario government says it will not support Ottawas proposal to remove citizenship rights to children born in Canada to non-citizens and non-residents. At this time, there is insufficient data to demonstrate the demand placed on Ontarios economy or public services from birth tourists, he wrote in a letter to Ottawa, dated September 6, 2012, after a technical briefing on the plan. A copy of the provinces response was obtained by this week. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

phone scam: Kevin Baillie in a written release Tuesday, according to CBC. The call originated from the 905 area code in Ontario, Baillie added. RCMP warn of phone scam targeting and threatening immigrants Fraudsters pose as immigration officials in phone scam, police warn The woman said she received a call from a male who identified himself as being with Citizenship and Immigration Canada who told her he had her immigration file open on his desk. "When the male began to ask her for detailed personal information, she challenged him, and he hung up," said Kings District commander Staff Sgt. Citizenship and Immigration Canada has sent out several notices about the ongoing scam, in which targets are asked for personal information including social insurance numbers, credit card information, bank accounts and eventually payment to avoid being deported or have other sanctions imposed. "The department advises that they never contact clients by phone to collect fines to avoid deportation and never request payment by pre-paid credit cards or through a private money transfer," Baille said. Police advise anyone receiving a fraudulent call to hang up and contact their local police department. If clients have concerns about the legitimacy of a call, Citizen and Immigration Canada recommends they ask for the name of the agent calling, then confirm if the call was genuine by calling the Citizen and Immigration Call Centre at 1-888-242-2100. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada: Citizenship and Immigration Canada said Bhavna Bajaj repeatedly failed to disclose that she had a son, Daksh, before she came to Ottawa. The department said that after she arrived, she signed a document saying her son would continue to live with his grandparents in India. , according to CBC. The couple applied for permanent residency in 2011 when Bajaj was pregnant, they told News. An immigration consultant had told them to head to Canada and sponsor their son after they arrived, they said. An Indian woman with permanent resident status in Canada, and who is trying to bring her three-year-old son here, admits she didn't disclose she had a child before her arrival in Ottawa, but disputes the assertion she had agreed to keep him in India. Citizenship and Immigration Canada says Bhavna Bajaj repeatedly failed to disclose she had a son, Daksh, until she arrived in Canada in January 2013. Courtesy of the Bhavna Bajaj-Aman Sood family Bajaj and her husband, Aman Sood, say they're fighting to change Canada immigration laws after being separated from their son over what they have described as an application error. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada: Michael Petrou of Macleans revealed on Thursday that text from the former immigration ministers 2008 speech is no longer available on Kenneys personal website or the online archives of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, according to Huffington Post. Trudeau was condemned by the Muslim Canadian Congress MCC for attending an ISNA event last Friday in Mississauga and A speech made by former immigration minister Jason Kenney to the Islamic Society of North America ISNA has apparently been erased from government websites as Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau faces criticism for his association with the same group. "I m sure this is due to a simple computer glitch rather than any attempt to re-write the historical record, and that the text of Kenneys rather lengthy speech will soon be restored to both websites," he wrote, sarcastically. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services: The chief of the asylum division at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has told asylum officers that immigrants who make a "credible fear" claim, the first step in the asylum process, must have a "significant possibility" of winning an asylum case before a judge, according to Times Colonist. The memo, which updates an officer training course lesson plan, does not substantially change the standard for how the immigration agency handles such cases. The same language was used to describe the standard to win a full hearing before an immigration judge as far back as 2008, according to the website and The U.S. Homeland Security Department has reissued asylum rules to immigration officials amid concerns that they are misinterpreting how to decide which immigrants get to see a judge for asylum claims. In a Feb. 28 memo, the official, John Lafferty, said in order to meet that standard immigrants have to "demonstrate a substantial and realistic possibility of succeeding in court." (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

body: To avoid actual or apparent conflicts of interest, the committee recommends the new body report to a minister other than the minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship, according to CBC. As soon as the new body is up and running, the government should revoke the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council's designation as the regulatory body, the committee recommends. In a report tabled today, called Starting Again Improving Government Oversight of Immigration Consultants, the standing committee on citizenship and immigration calls for the creation of an independent, government-regulated body to oversee immigration consultants. Canada's current regulatory body that governs immigration and citizenship consultants and paralegals is unable to serve its purpose, the report concludes. Liberals face pressure to crack down on 'ghost' immigration consultants Council overseeing immigration consultants appears to be in turmoil Oversight council for immigration consultants faces criticism The committee says only lawyers and consultants admitted to the profession by the new regulatory body should be authorized to accept payments for immigration services, and that members should have more rigorous standards for admission in terms of training, education and ethics. The committee calls for a new regulatory framework governing immigration and citizenship consultants and paralegals that gives the government a stronger oversight role. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

immigration minister: Under current immigration laws, naturalized Canadians can lose their citizenship only if they acquired it by fraud or through misrepresentation. If the immigration minister decides to revoke someones citizenship, the person then has the right to a hearing before the Federal Court. The Federal Court is independent of the immigration minister and offers a fair procedure to determine the veracity of the ministers claim, according to The Star. Once citizenship is obtained it becomes a right, not a privilege. There is no question that the offences listed in Bill C-24 are serious crimes. However, these crimes are appropriately punished by the criminal justice system. Handing the immigration minister the authority to unilaterally punish persons by revoking citizenship, also known as banishment, is unfair and discriminatory and As Canadian citizens, we have a right to justice, equality and fairness under the law. No one is above the law, including those elected to formulate it. Bill C-24 , ironically named the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act, changes these basic assumptions in important ways, most critically by removing decision-making powers from independent courts and replacing it with the entirely subjective discretion of the immigration minister. Bill C-24, in its current form, significantly expands the immigration ministers discretion to revoke citizenship to individuals involved in armed combat with Canada and those convicted of certain criminal offences including treason, spying and terrorism either in Canada or on foreign soil. While some may argue that these are not unreasonable reasons for revoking citizenship, this is particularly troublesome from a rule of law perspective. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

unsolicited phone calls: Police allege the caller then asks for large amounts of money to be transferred so that the victim immigration status remains valid, according to CTV. Police did not say if anyone has fallen victim to the scam. According to police, people of South Asian descent have reported receiving unsolicited phone calls from people "falsely" claiming to be Citizenship and Immigration Canada employees. "The caller tells the person their immigration status, specifically their permanent resident card, is expiring and requires renewal," police said in statement Tuesday afternoon. They say anyone with questions regarding their immigration or residency status should call Citizenship and Immigration Canada at 1-888-242-2100, or their country of origin consulate. Colin Stewart at 416-808-2300, or Crime Stoppers at 416-222-TIPS . Anyone with information is asked to contact Det. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Citizenship Immigration Canada: Staff Sgt, according to CBC. Stephanie Burns said the service receives daily complaints about the fraudsters posing as Citizenship and Immigration officials Mandira Purie, who recently retired as a public servant at the department, says she received a call from someone who told her that her immigration form had not been updated — and immediately recognized it as a scam because she is a Canadian citizen. The scam works like this: someone claiming to be from Citizenship and Immigration Canada calls and demands a fee of $2,000 to correct faulty paper work in an application. But with an influx of refugees on the way, she worried others could easily get duped. "I'm concerned about people who might end up disclosing their credit card information because they're so concerned and they're not citizens and they're afraid of being deported," she said. Stephanie Burns. The fraudsters typically try to get the person they're calling to disclose private information — including credit card numbers — to pay for made-up fines, said Ottawa Police Service Staff Sgt. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada: NDP immigration critic Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe submitted an order paper question, which is like an access-to-information request for MPs, about the budget and processing times for applications for temporary and permanent residents, according to Toronto Star. The remaining information requested in the question and subquestions would require an extensive manual search of Citizenship and Immigration Canada records. After a lengthy data extraction process involving millions of files , the report would have to be reviewed in its entirety to ensure that the data is accurate and valid. Providing full and accurate information within the prescribed timeline is therefore not feasible, said the response tabled in the Commons on May 14 last year and Newly released documents suggest the office of Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander intervened to save bureaucrats from answering part of a formal question from an NPD MP about wait times for visa applications. The department provided information in response to some parts of the question mostly by linking to details already available on its website but said they would not be able to break down wait times for applications by fiscal year and processing centre. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Justice Department: JOB: Assistant deputy attorney general for public safety, defence and immigration at Justice Department since 2005, according to Times Colonist. Began career as counsel to solicitor general department, Correctional Service of Canada and National Parole Board. From 1990 to 2001, served as senior general counsel and director, Citizenship and Immigration legal services, at Justice. Later became director general, refugee policy, at Citizenship and Immigration. In 2002, took on the role with office of assistant deputy minister, Citizenship and Immigration portfolio, at Justice and A sketch of federal privacy commissoner nominee Daniel Therrien: Bachelor of Arts and law degrees, University of Ottawa. Called to Quebec bar in 1981. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Canadian citizenship: In the first major overhaul of the Citizenship Act in nearly four decades, the Conservative government vowed Thursday to tighten the rules for those who want to become Canadian, crack down on fraud and strip citizenship from dual nationals who engage in terrorism. , according to Winnipeg Free Press. "Canadians take as much or more pride in their citizenship than any other country," said Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander. "The rate of application is likely to go up in spite of the fact that we're taking certain measures to reinforce the value of citizenship." Canada's Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander speaks after unveiling changes to Canada's Citizenship Act in Toronto on Thursday February 6, 2014. THE Frank Gunn The proposed changes were aimed at strengthening the value of Canadian citizenship and improving the efficiency of the process required to attain it. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.