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Immigration Policy

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Nell Touissant Wins but Federal Court of Appeal Victory Bittersweet

June 09, 2011 (Toronto) -- In 2008, Nell Toussaint, a non-status woman living in poverty in Canada after working one precarious job after another and surviving life-threatening medical conditions, asked the Immigration Minister, Jason Kenney to allow her to apply for permanent residence on humanitarian and compassionate grounds (an H&C application) without having to pay the exorbitant $550.00 fee usually required for these applications. This excessive fee effectively bars poor and working class people from filing an H&C application because they are unable to afford it. Nell Toussant based her request on a provision of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act which explicitly allows the Minister to exempt a person from any requirement under the Act. A reasonable person would think this would include the requirement to pay a fee, but Jason Kenney is not a reasonable person and told Nell she would have to pay to have her application considered.

Comment: Spousal Sponsorship Changes (by the Immigration Legal Committee)

Introduction

The Immigration Legal Committee (ILC) of the Law Union of Ontario (LUO) calls on the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada to scrap proposals to impose a two year “conditional residency” on sponsored spouses, common law partners and conjugal partners and a five year prohibition of sponsored persons who have left a relationship with their sponsor to sponsor their new spouse, common-law or conjugal partner. The proposals were published in the Canada Gazette as amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPRegs) on March 26, 2011 and April 2, 2011 respectively.

One Week to Oppose Sexist Temporary Immigration Law

April 19 2011, Toronto - On Saturday, March 26th, after being found in contempt of Parliament, the Harper government attempted to quietly sneak in changes to family sponsorship and immigration legislation. Harper is proposing replacing permanent residence with temporary status for two years or more for spouses and partners sponsored as part of the family class, "spouse or common-law partner in Canada" class category who are in a relationship of two years or less with their sponsors at the time of application.

The Wrongs of the Canadian Immigration System

December 2012, Toronto - Some believe that the Canadian immigration system is fair and generous. It isn't. And Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney are swiftly making it even worse.

They are underhandedly taking apart the so-called 'objective' points-based system. They are moving quickly to get rid of its 'humanitarian' part: the refugee process. In its place, they are setting up temporary work programs that are designed to push most migrants into vulnerable, precarious and temporary jobs without access to services or the ability to unionize.

Today, the only means to apply for permanent residency from outside the country is as a spouse. That too, is not open to all, certain applicants will only get temporary residency for the first two years!

Public Forum: Can Human Smuggling be defended?

Jan/11/2011 - 6:00 pm

The South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario and No One Is Illegal - Toronto invite you to join in a public conversation with Barbara Jackman (Lawyer), Kamala Kempadoo (Professor), Graciela Flores Mendez (No One Is Illegal - Toronto) and Macdonald Scott (Immigration Consultant and No One Is Illegal - Toronto)

Can Human Smuggling be defended?

11 January 2010
Lillian H. Smith Library, 239 College Street
6:00pm - 8:00pm

** BARBARA JACKMAN is a lawyer specializing in immigration and refugee law. She has served as a Director in the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, the Working Women Community Centre, INTERCEDE, and Defence for Children International.
** KAMALA KEMPADOO is a Professor in the Department of Social Science at York University and author of Trafficking and Prostitution Reconsidered (Paradigm 2005)

In defense of human smuggling, for the free movement of people.

No One Is Illegal-Toronto

It remains to be seen if Bill C-49, the newest anti-migrant bill introduced by the Harper government will become law.

Even after public condemnation by nearly a 100 healthcare and religious organizations, concerned community, refugee rights, legal advocacy and environmental groups, as well as thousands of individuals signing petitions and writing letters, the Conservative government continues to push forward this racist legislation.

With no real support anywhere for Bill C-49, Stephen Harper spins blatant lies saying, "Canadians of all ethnic backgrounds, old Canadians, new Canadians, urban Canadians, rural Canadians' want anti-human smuggling legislation". (for a partial list of organizations opposing Bill C-49, click here)

Noticing the breadth of public outcry, the Liberals, the NDP, the Green Party and Bloc Quebecois have come out in opposition to this Bill. The Liberal Party declared that Bill C-49 “masquerades as human smuggling legislation” and “does not adequately target human smugglers”, with Liberal Party leader Michael Ignatieff stating that the bill “[punishes] the victims, and not the criminals”.

But the opposition parties, like the Tories, have refused to define “human smuggling”.

Throughout the political jockeying and the manufactured media circus that surrounded the arrival of the Tamil migrants aboard the Ocean Lady and the MV Sun Sea, “human smuggling” has consistently been framed as an unquestioned evil, a practice that must be combated through anti-smuggling legislation and criminal punishment.

We reject this presumption.

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