Stephen Harper is not friendly to immigrants, say a group of immigration lawyers and legal academics who have taken the unprecedented step of warning Canadian newcomers about Conservative government practices and policies. Here’s the link to the main story.
So far 46 lawyers and professors have signed on to the group.
Following are the main points in their press release:
- Visa quotas for sponsored parents and grandparents are down — not up — by 44 per cent annually from 20,005 in 2005 to 11,200 in 2011. Under the Conservatives, it now takes nine to 30 months longer to process these sponsorships, depending on the visa post.
- The backlog of skilled worker applicants waiting for a decision has gone up — not down — from 487,000 in 2005 to the current 508,000.
- New legislation introduced by Harper’s Conservatives target the victims of smuggling, the refugees, not the smugglers, by mandatory detention, denying permanent residency and making it more difficult for refugees to reunite with their families.
- Stephen Harper and the Conservatives just announced plans to cancel the only program allowing Canada to protect refugees applying from within their own country.
- Stephen Harper and the Conservatives have cut $53 million dollars in settlement funding, $43 million from Ontario alone.
- The new law proposed by Conservatives to crack down on marriage fraud won’t stamp out bogus spousal sponsorships, but will make reunification with legitimate spouses more difficult. Also, the conditional two-year permanent residency will have the affect of trapping spouses in abusive relationships.
The evidence from immigration experts is clear. Stephen Harper doesn’t like newcomers to Canada.
For new Canadians to vote for him or his Conservative Party on May 2 is nothing less than self-destructive.
The complete text of the open letter together with the names of the signatories may be found at the Georgia Straight website here: