Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Bureaucratic Straitjackets

"He's getting big now. He needs his mom for all the playing, activities and learning."
"It's difficult for them [her parents-in-law] to take him out, to take him to parks."
"It's so frustrating."
"We relied on the legal advice of the immigration consultant who told us that we could sponsor him once we settle down in Canada. We had the plan to sponsor him as soon as we get a place to stay and start working. We thought it would take a couple of months before we could sponsor him." 
Bhavna Bajaj, East Indian permanent resident, Canada

"It was only when she arrived in Canada in January 2013, and was interviewed by an officer, that she revealed that she had a son."
"It appears that the child never resided with his parents and has continuously resided with his grandparents... [and is] living in an environment which was culturally and linguistically familiar to him, among people who had cared for him since birth."
Citizenship and Immigration Canada spokeswoman Mary Jago.
immigration Bhavna Bajaj Daksh
Citizenship and Immigration Canada says Bhavna Bajaj repeatedly failed to disclose she had a son, Daksh, until she arrived in Canada in January 2013. (Courtesy of the Bhavna Bajaj-Aman Sood family)
This is an issue that has been outstanding for a year, of a young immigrant couple coming to Canada to take up employment and to become landed immigrants. At the time they made their visa application, the young wife, Bhavna Bajaj and her husband Aman Sood, made no mention of having a child. It seems apparent that they felt it best to leave the child behind with Mr. Sood's parents until they were established in Canada, and then apply to have him join them, rather than complicate their move by arriving with him.

When they landed in Montreal in January of 2013, Canada Border Service agents are claimed to have pressured the couple to choose one of two options available to them. To either state their intention of sponsoring the child and to do so they would have to return to India and initiate the sponsorship from there -- or to sign a declaration that they had no intention of ever sponsoring their son to join them in Canada. This is obviously the result of a bureaucratic confusion in family-class sponsorship.

It's hard to think who might have been more confused, the family who felt they had to make a decision then and there, and were reluctant to return to India before even having made their way into Canada and their prospective employment opportunities in Canada, or the Border Service agents who might have read immigration guidelines to astoundingly interpret them in a way that it might seem normal and natural for parents of a young child to leave him for good in the hands of elderly family members.

The couple decided to sign the declaration that they had no intention of sponsoring their three-year-old to join them to become a family unit in Canada. They said they felt pressured into making that decision, although the implications of signing such a declaration cannot have been entirely lost on an intelligent pair of aspiring professionals eager to make a new life for themselves. Or a mother who might have been expected to want to raise her child herself through his vital early years.

With the aid of immigration lawyers they proceeded to make applications to be reunited with their son, when he was three, to have him admitted on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. Any half-thinking, sane human being might feel that request to be entirely justified, but it seems that Immigration officers at the Delhi consulate refused two applications, misinterpreting the visa request for a work visa or a business visitor's visa, not a temporary resident permit.

Illogical professional ineptitude simply has prolonged the unhappiness of a mother who wants to be able to be with her child physically other than occasional visits back to India, and not be satisfied with seeing him and speaking to him over the Internet. Moreover, the father's parents who are caring for the little boy, now four, are not in the best of health. This understandably concerns the parents of the child.

An online petition was started by a Good Samaritan, a petition signed by close to 12,000 Canadians, urging the government to relax its tendentious guidelines on immigration in an absurd case such as this, to permit the child to travel to Canada to be reunited with his parents. One might imagine that the new government with its spanking fresh "people" smiley-face prime minister would be only too happy to oblige.

After all, if the previous government failed to respond to the parents' pleas to intercede on their behalf with the Immigration department, one might think this would spur the new government on to do just that, since the new Liberal government under Justin Trudeau has bent itself into pretzel mis-shape trying to undo everything, irrationally unjustified or not, that the previous Conservative government undertook.

In this particular instance, where the government is congratulating itself left, right and centre for pulling out all stops to bring Syrian refugees into Canada, as a bright haven for their future and that of their children, how could it be justified in keeping a little boy from living a life with his parents in Canada? The absurd notion, 'politically correct' and perhaps applicable in other situations, that he would be more comfortable where he is culturally and linguistically, is limp and absurd.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

()() Follow @rheytah Tweet