JG - IMMIGRATION MATTERS - Many Jamaicans face deportation from Canada - Part II
IMMIGRATION MATTERS - Many Jamaicans face deportation from Canada - Part II
published: Tuesday April 25, 2006
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, April 5. Harper faced opposition questions in Canada's elected house for the first since being elected in January. - REUTERS
DEPORTATION APPEARS to be a very conversational issue among many individuals who are criminally inadmissible and anxiously explore the viability of returning to Canada.
Unlike Jamaican's motto, 'Out of Many, One People', Canada's immigration policy has been racially and geographically discriminating since the evolution of immigration. Recently, the Government of Canada delivered a Throne Speech in which they publicly apologised to the Chinese community for an imposed Chinese Head Tax under the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. Under this act, Chinese were forced to pay an excessive amount of up to $500 to enter Canada or 'keep out'.
THE IMMIGRATION ACT
The Immigration Act, 1910, was equally racially and geographically discriminatory. For example, the act conferred on the Cabinet the authority to exclude "immigrants belonging to any race deemed unsuited to the climate of requirements of Canada." As such, immigrants could be deported on the grounds of political and moral instability.
Similarly, the Immigration Act, 1952, (the 'Gatekeepers Act') gave the minister and officials substantial powers over selection, admission and deportation. For example, they either prohibit or limit the admission of persons by reason of such factors as nationality, ethnic group, lifestyle, unsuitability regarding Canada's climate and the perceived ability to readily assimilate into Canada's society.
However, under Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, 2002, permanent residents lose their right to appeal a deportation order if they are sentenced to a term of imprisonment of at least two years. So, how can one legally return to Canada after being deported?
A few months ago, I had an encounter with 'John' at the Criminal Records Office in Kingston, Jamaica. In good gesture and with unsolicited advice, I generously offered my assistance to complete his pardon application form accurately, while inquisitively enquiring as to the nature of his offences. He refused the assistance and proceeded to 'educate' me on how to successfully complete a pardon application form to return to Canada. He said, "Mi know whey me a do you nuh lady! Me did live a Canada before. A two time dem deport me. Me try again two time after dat and the last time dem turn me back at the airport and tell me to do a pardon. But me have my kids dem up there so me haffi go back."
John's status as a permanent resident of Canada coupled with an indictable offence for which he was convicted and served two years contributed to his deportation. Canada Border Services Agency denied him his last two entries to Canada. Clearly, ineligible to apply for a pardon to return to Canada until the prescribed time, yet he appeared confident in acting on the immigration officer's advice.
A word of caution: Although never proclaimed, a 1911 Council prohibited "any immigrant belonging to the Negro race, which race is deemed unsuitable to the climate and requirements of Canada." Stereotypically, Jamaicans could easily fall into this category, hence deportation becomes inevitable.
A pardon is the forgiveness of a crime and the penalty associated with it. The prescribed time to apply for a pardon is three years for summary offences, and five years for indictable offences.
While John gleamed with the thought of returning to Canada, the land of opportunity with the world's highest health standards, education and social systems, his argument of returning to Canada after being deported twice is purely speculative and is without merit. He contravenes the act, hence no proof of rehabilitation.
The fact is: The only legal way to return to Canada after being deported is to satisfy the minister that you have been rehabilitated at which time you must obtain a Minister's permit.
Were you given a deportation, removal or exclusion order? Do you know the difference? Find out next week.
Marva Barrow is the president of Barrow International Immigration Solutions and is a member in good standing with the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants and the Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants. She can be reached at 416-850-8318. Send direct questions to email@example.com.