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News reports/stories on immigration

Nanny sent to work as underpaid servant

Nanny Catherine Manuel tells of her illegal work in Canada
September 22, 2008 - The Toronto Star
Dale Brazao

Catherine Manuel came to Canada as a live-in nanny to care for 8-year-old Brent of Toronto.

She ended up changing beds, cleaning toilets and painting the decks at the Whispering Pines bed and breakfast in Jackson's Point, on the shores of Lake Simcoe.

Manuel was promised about $420 a week to care for young Brent, with weekends and holidays off. Instead, she was underpaid and worked "morning, noon and night" as a cleaner, servant and handywoman.

Brent and his mother never surfaced. Today, four months after she arrived in Canada, Manuel wonders if they really exist.

On her days off, the skilled caregiver was driven to Toronto to clean the townhouse belonging to the innkeeper's boyfriend, a part-time lecturer at York University.

Big promises, broken dreams

Nurses, nannies, labourers willing to pay big bucks sought out his services, desperate to get to Canada
August 31, 2008 - The Toronto Star
Dale Brazao

The Saturday Star detailed the growing problem of human trafficking of foreign workers to Canada. In one case, dubbed the Elmvale 11, a group of skilled Filipino workers came to Canada last summer on promises of good jobs, but ended up forced to work as modern-day slaves. The Star found lax government rules and unscrupulous labour recruiters at the heart of the problem.

Canada has been very, very good to Imtazur Nasser Rahman.

Fresh from a second bankruptcy – leaving his creditors on the hook for $114,000 – he zips around the GTA doing business in a $125,000 Porsche Cayenne Turbo.

He previously drove a Lexus 330 SUV, also leased after declaring bankruptcy.

Immigrant crackdown derails studies

Scholarship winner to be deported as Ottawa gets tough with illegals
September 22, 2008 - The Toronto Star

A crackdown by the Canada Border Services Agency after a report uncovered 41,000 unaccounted for illegal immigrants is derailing a young Bangladeshi man's last years at the University of Toronto.

Saad Alam was starting his third year of a life sciences degree with a hope of medical school in the future. The 23-year-old has lived in the GTA for five years and the U.S. for nine before that. He and his parents are being deported to Bangladesh at the end of the month.

"They're very strict about removals these days," said Anita Balakrishna, the lawyer representing the Alam family. "It's a reaction to the auditor general's report."

Woman tired of hiding in church sanctuary

But she's afraid deportation to Nigeria will mean genital mutilation
Sept. 14, 2008 - Sun Media
Tom Godfrey

A Nigerian mom who's been hiding in a Port Credit church for two years in her bid to avoid deportation and possible female circumcision says her sanctuary has now become a prison .

Ola Akinwalere, 44, and her Canadian-born daughter, Alice, 12, say they face gender mutilation if removed to Lagos, where a form of female circumcision is exercised by some tribal clans.

"I am most worried about my daughter," Akinwalere said from a tiny apartment in the basement of Trinity Anglican Church on Stavebank Rd., near Lakeshore and Mississauga Rds. "I cannot take my daughter back to Nigeria with me."

She claims never to have collected welfare during her 18 years in Canada and upgraded her education to become a social worker.

Good enough for a federal scholarship ...

Posted in

TORONTO — The Globe and Mail
Published on Wednesday, Mar. 26, 2008
If it all goes according to plan, Sarah Leonty will parlay her academic acumen into a career with Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs.

But first, the 20-year-old Toronto woman will have to stop the country she wants to serve from kicking her out.

Ms. Leonty, who came to Canada from St. Lucia when she was 11, recently learned she is facing deportation to the Caribbean island because she lacks immigration status, though she had no say in her parents' decision to bring her here.

Now, she is mounting a fight to stay, so that she can finish university and put her impressive Canadian scholastic record – which includes a federally funded scholarship and a stint as prime minister of her high school's student council – to work for her adopted country.

Algerians celebrate but scars still sting: Some in limbo after vindication by court

Posted in

Wednesday 08 March 2006
Montreal Gazette

Tears came to Fawzi Hoceni's eyes yesterday as he watched and listened to TV footage of police using tough tactics to arrest him and 11 other unarmed Montreal demonstrators in an Ottawa office tower three years ago.

Along with two non-Algerian supporters, eight of the 10 Algerian men, including Hoceni, were acquitted last month on charges of mischief for occupying the waiting room of Denis Coderre, who was citizenship and immigration minister, on May 29, 2003.

The sit-in lasted almost 10 hours before police attacked the the demonstrators with electric stun guns and hauled them away to spend the night in jail.

The trial is over, but for the Algerians the emotional - and in some cases, physical - scars remain. They and others who've fled the North African country want Canada to recognize what they consider their right: to stay here indefinitely.

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