Friday, 27 June 2008

Refugees should seek asylum in ancestral and culturally similar lands? What a concept!!!

The following can be read in full here at the Toronto Star.

Shock as Canada rejects Iraq refugees

Instead of joining kin here, applicants directed to ancestors' homeland
Jun 23, 2008 04:30 AM
Nicholas Keung
IMMIGRATION/DIVERSITY REPORTER


Azad Sarkissian's Armenian great-grandparents settled in Iraq more than a century ago, and none of their descendants has stepped on Armenian soil since.

His sister and her family fled the violence in Iraq and are living precariously as United Nations-recognized refugees in Jordan. Sarkissian, in Toronto, has tried and failed three times over the past six years to bring them to Canada through a refugee resettlement application sponsored by the Assyrian Methodist Church of Canada.

But they were startled and angered by the latest response by a Canadian visa officer in Damascus, who said the family should go to Armenia instead.

"We were shocked by the decision," said Sarkissian, a telecommunications technician who came to Canada as a regular immigrant in 1997 and is a Canadian citizen. "They have nobody in Iraq or Armenia. Everyone else is in Canada. Why would Canada want to separate our family?"

Don't you love the guilt trip? Canada didn't separate his family, he did when he willingly chose to come to Canada.

Anjeal Sarkissian, her husband Karabet Aram, and their three boys, Shant, Agob and Apel, are what refugee advocates say are part of a worrisome trend as a growing number of Armenian Christian refugees from Iraq are being rejected and asked to go to Armenia despite having family connections in Canada. "We are surprised and concerned that the possibility of residency in Armenia is being used as a basis to refuse these applications," said Janet Dench, of the Canadian Council for Refugees.

Why is it a concern? What's wrong with expecting Armenians to seek asylum in, well, Armenia? It seems the Canadian Council for Refugees is staffed by lunatics. They are concerned that "the possibility of residency in Armenia is being used as a basis to refuse these applications." Did you get that? Who are these people?

The treatment of Armenian Iraqis reminds Toronto immigration lawyer Chantal Desloges of how Jewish refugees fleeing the Soviet Union after its collapse in the 1990s were denied refugee status and told to resettle in Israel instead.

The problem being?

Get the feeling the refugee system is being used for immigration purposes? What's laughable about this is that these Armenians will come to Canada and be Armenians while living in Canada and be proud of being from Armenia. They'll be Armenian-Canadians. Why don't they just resettle in Armenia and be Armenians living in Armenia. Or is that just crazy talk?

Canada is right to expect asylum seekers to seek asylum in their lands of ancestry or in culturally similar lands. The refugee system should not be another avenue for immigration purposes.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

"It seems the Canadian Council for Refugees is staffed by lunatics. They are concerned that "the possibility of residency in Armenia is being used as a basis to refuse these applications." Did you get that? Who are these people?"

She is Janet Dench, Canadian Council for Refugees. Email: ccr@web.ca

http://www.ccrweb.ca/reunificationen.html

Their website features a poster displaying an African boy with the wording of "Wishing You Were Here".
This question might be redundant...But why??

This is an example of what "compassionate activism" looks like with a full shovel of pompous self-gratification thrown in for good measure.

Oh...and a reminder to all hardworking Canadian taxpayers: There is a high price to pay for all this "compassion".

For a u.n. convention refugee, that could amount to about $3000 per month with a combined federal and provincial welfare handout.

Anonymous said...

Brenda Walker has written a good article on "refugees" filled with delicious sarcasm at www.vdare.com July 2/08.

Here's a sampling:

"The world's displaced persons are no longer regarded as burdensome charity cases, you understand, but as colorful additions to our drab Western Civilization—at least according to the people paid to resettle them among us."

"In addition, 'refugees' provide Hollywood stars with opportunities for do-goodery, well-publicized of course. Public acts of diversity charity are practically required for the film community these days. It gives them a change of pace from shopping on Rodeo Drive."

Anonymous said...

"Don't you love the guilt trip? Canada didn't separate his family, he did when he willingly chose to come to Canada."

No he didn't. He came to Canada with the express purpose of sponsoring his family later. Canadian family reunification law fully allows this, if all conditions are met. Get your facts right, Pax.

PaxCanadiana said...

No he didn't. He came to Canada with the express purpose of sponsoring his family later. Canadian family reunification law fully allows this, if all conditions are met.

Well, apparently all conditions have not been met if the application has been denied three times over a six year period or have I read the story wrong?

Let's look at the facts. First of all he is a refugee, not a principal applicant. If he is not a government sponsored refugee then Canada didn't select him through an application process. He chose Canada, not the other way around. I don't know the details on how the man got to Canada but the likely route is that he got on a plane and made his claim in Canada which is the way to do it if you want to beat the system.

Secondly, he is trying to sponsor his sister and her family. Sister aside they are part of his extended family. They are not part of his nuclear family. I would be on your side if Canada accepted the sister as a refugee yet denied her spouse and her children from joining her but this is not the case. What we have here is a man who wants to sponsor his sister who will in turn bring in the rest of the family. Legally, and correct me if I am wrong, the man cannot sponsor all of them at once so he goes the "chain migration" route by sponsoring one relative, his sister, who then sponsors another, who then sponsors another, and so on, and so, and so. The kind of chain migration has actually been harmful to Canada.

The man is abusing the word family here. He may be separated from his sister but his sister is not separated from her family. She is still with her husband and three children. Canada is well within its legal right to deny the application and has done so three times. Canada is under no obligation to pander to this man's expectations and do as he says and there is nothing stopping him from leaving Canada and joining his sister.

His application has more to do with immigration than asylum and too many have abused the refugee system for immigration purposes. This seems to be what is happening here.

So yes, he in fact is responsible for separating his family. He took the risk and apparently armed with a raging sense of entitlement, a prerequisite to immigrate to Canada nowadays or so it seems, expected Canada to just import his extended family at his demand. He can always leave Canada and join his sister but that's not what this is all about. Canada's asylum system coupled with the family reunification stream has been responsible for the steady, massive importation of people into to the country who otherwise would be inadmissible. It's nice to see when the machinations get frustrated every now and then.