South Asian to take Biggest Hit under Bill C50

Posted by admin on Jun 16th, 2008

Indo Canadian Voice Online. By Rattan Mall

Indo-Canadians will be the number one group taking the hit under Bill C-50, says well-known immigration lawyer Richard Kurland. Lexbase, the country’s leading immigration publication run by Kurland, reviewed the inventory of all overseas Economic Class permanent residence applications as of April 4, 2008, and was astonished to discover that there are a whopping 145,556 people in the queue in New Delhi, but that the 2008 target allows for only 9,245 visas. Comparing the 2008 target of 9,245 visas with a queue of 145,556 people, the queue in New Delhi measures 15 years.

Kurland said: “No wonder Citizenship and Immigration Canada wants to shuffle the visa cards, and take away both the right to a visa, and, the ‘first come, first served’ rule for visa processing. India gets hit big.

“It is not ‘when’ you apply, it is ‘where’ you apply.”

The Economic Class includes skilled workers, business immigrants, and provincially-selected immigrants.

Kurland’s analysis of the data showed that Canada’s immigration system is not broken at all. He said: “The real issue is ‘What to do about applicants from India?’ and how to manage this issue politically when Indo-Canadian voters are nationally influential.”

According to Kurland, Canada’s immigration system already contains the mechanism to control the inventory: the passmark. When CIC asked Parliament for the power to let the Minister set the passmark, the explanation was that the passmark would be raised or lowered based on the level of inventory, with retroactive effect. So, the Minister can raise or lower the passmark at any time.

He said: “The mechanism withstood the legal challenge. But politically, raising the passmark is the “third-rail” of Canadian politics. The system is not broken, any more than a car is broken simply because the driver refuses to apply the brakes. The inventory problem could be fixed tomorrow, by raising the passmark, but politics trumped design.

“The selling point of “a broken system” also justified the government’s removal of the right to a visa – the largest stripping away of rights in Canada since 1970, when the War Measures Act was invoked. Under current law, there is a right to a visa when an applicant meets all prerequisites to visa issuance. There is a right to a visa, but the visa only gets you as far as the border officer, because while there is a right to a visa, there is no right to enter Canada.”

He noted: “The political party that proposes a reversal of government policy that removed individual rights from millions of people in Canada and abroad, and promises the restoration of the right to a visa, will reap rewards.”

Are the federal Liberals listening?

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