Friday, March 24, 2006

'Get Back' - by the Bootles

The friendly folks at the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration (or whatever they're calling themselves to-day) have started to do their jobs again. The Toronto papers have been showered with letters since they ran an article about honest, hard-working illegal immigrants being repatriated to Portugal.

It's about time. Canada's immigration policy has been a joke since the first 'amnesty' for illegal immigrants happened back in the late 60's. The numbers of 'visitors' who decide to extend the visit for a decade, or two, just build into a multitude that the immigration department stand no chance of catching or deporting - then we have an amnesty and let them all take out citizenship. Who can blame the poor Portugese builders for paying the 'consultants' who told them it was just a matter of time until the next amnesty. I can't undestand why there hasn't been an amnesty.  Like a volcanic eruption in some places, it was well overdue, NOT!

I can't understand how somebody can come here for a summer visit and wind-up owning a house and sending two kids through elementary and high schools, without proper documentation, or paying taxes, before immigration Canada tweak to the fact. School boards should demand citizenship documentation to register children. In many countries, visitors have to show passports to get accomodation, or to travel, and records are kept. Departure dates should be tracked and the visitors contacted if they don't show up for the flight. Canada could do this, but it hasn't.

When I was younger I visited an island in the Caribbean. I guess they had the same trouble with bums such as myself outstaying their island welcome, and stinking the place up. I had to leave the return half of my airline ticket with the immigration department. It was there for me when I left - Canada should do that, too, and either make the Airline, or who ever they're visiting, responsible for getting them home again.

Removing people who have established themselves in Canada, by marrying and starting families is heart-rending. However, there is a process for doing this legally and visitors should know that they will receive no special treatment for marrying a Canadian or giving birth to some.

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