Monday, 20 August 2007

Deportee granted reprieve

This a depressing story. Not because of what it does to the credibility of our immigration system - because that is clearly beyond repair. It's that old political Boyle's Law - the greater the external pressure, the greater the volume of hot air.

There is no doubt in my mind that this individual does not deserve to stay in Canada. He entered the country illegally, on a false passport. He lost all his appeals and resorted to "sanctuary" to try and overstay some more, and avoid return to his country of origin. The decision to remove him was made after due process, and he was represented. The great howl of outrage came not from the community as a whole but a small but vocal group who are keen to play any card - race, disability - whatever - to forward their agenda.

There are a lot of people who want to come to Canada. Most of them wait a long time and have to jump through plenty of hoops. The process seems at times baffling and bureaucratic and has some really difficult requirements causing all kinds of personal tragedies. Getting to Canada is hard enough: trying to get established in the new country is even harder. So why does this individual deserve any special consideration? He did not so much jump the queue as avoid it altogether. Instead of supporting him, I think the community of immigrants should be outraged that just because he can raise a protest rally to put pressure on Stockwell Day, he gets to stay "to review the case" - one that has been running for four years? How much new could be learned?

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