Refugees or Immigrants, they have names. Here’s one

di Joe Volpe del 9 August 2018

TORONTO - Sometimes, nuggets of truth shine through the veil of talking Points. Last week’s press Conference starring the $11 miilion exchange between John Tory and Minister Bill Blair was one such occasion. Minister Blair seemed to suggest that there are employers willing to hire refugees. There are town councils prepared to accommodate them. Two factors, according to him, that should convince us to keep asylum seekers here. Besides, the Federal government is prepared, he said, to assist financially. He won’t find any dispute from us. But if he is going out of his way NOT to remove people who are [temporarily] wards of the state, why is his colleague Ralph Goodale determined to deport hard-working, law-abiding, self-supporting young families who entered the country legally and whose constituent members are already integrated? Bruno N. is a brilliant computer analyst and programmer. He and his wife Arianna, a graphics designer came into the country four years ago on a valid work permit. They want a better future for their children. This is where they want to be. They have jobs. They also have two children, both attending school. The older child, a boy (then age 8), was crossing the street in his home Brasil when an assassin emerged from nowhere to execute a man walking beside him. Bruno doesn’t want to take his family back there. It was not an isolated incident. The Province from where he originated, Pernambuco (population 9,278,000), experienced a homicide rate of 58.49 per 100,000 inhabitants – 5,427 killings -in 2017. Ontario, population 14 million, suffered 206 murders in 2016, a homicide rate of 1.74 – high, but not 58.49! One can only imagine the traumatic experience of that boy. Bruno and Arianna have done virtually everything they can, made every application to stay, appealed under humanitarian and compassionate grounds, gone through a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment et cetera. It has cost them virtually all their savings. But they are not whining; they just want to stay. They appealed to Ralph Goodale’s office. Minister Goodale is responsible for removals. His office told us this is an issue of granting status, therefore, it falls under the purview of Minister Ahmed Hussein, the Minister for Refugees and Immigration. Bruno’s hopes rose. Minister Hussen, himself a former refugee from Somalia, entered Canada “without papers”, but four years later, he was “landed”. Bruno and Arianna hoped he would understand, notwithstanding the “system’s determination to uphold its integrity” and to remove them upon the expiration of their work visa in early July. Hussen’s motherland, Somalia is a violent country. It is in the grips of political war-lords whose destructive policies have turned the country into an unsafe place. The murder rate is 15.1 per 100,000. Hussen’s office says this is a removals issue therefore … back to Goodale. Arianna was in no condition to travel, laden with child at mid term and anxious. She miscarried shortly after learning the negative news. A local MP intervened to get them a temporary stay until she recovered. Local CBSA officials are relentless. The school board hosting the children doesn’t want them to leave. It stands to lose $24,600 in Grants for Student Needs if they do not go back. That board has between 6,000 and 8,000 other students in the same category. If Goodale executes removals on the other students and their families, that board will lose between $73,000,000 and $98,400,000. It will have to shut down 12 to 15 schools and declare as surplus between 240 and 320 teachers. And the infrastructure to support all of that? Meanwhile, a Supreme Court decision from December 10, 2015, states in no uncertain terms that any Immigration official MUST take into consideration the best interests of the child when considering recommending acceptance under humanitarian and compassionate grounds, prior to removals. One wonders who’s breaking the law: the Ministers who didn’t read the judgement or the officials who “didn’t read the memo”? Who thinks seriously that a child can adapt to what is essentially a war zone?

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