Mar 31, 2009 04:30 AM
A Brampton man is attempting to launch a class-action lawsuit against the federal government for failing to investigate and deport foreigners who allegedly trick Canadians into marriages of convenience.
It is unknown how many cases there are nationally, but Immigration Canada's branch office in Mississauga has about 600 files on immigration fraud cases and a lack of staff has created a major investigative backlog.
Saranjeet Benet, a 37-year-old electrician, and his father Sampuran Benet, founded Canadians Against Immigration Fraud and are asking the Federal Court of Canada for permission to pursue a class-action lawsuit on behalf of Canadian sponsors who married foreigners in good faith but were jilted and end up with emotional scars and financial losses.
Marriage fraud transcends culture, religion, and race. It can happen to anyone. But in the case of Punjabi Non Resident Indians (NRIs as the Indian government accurately recognizes them or the politically acceptable Indo-Canadians in Canada) they bring it upon themselves. The archaic and silly marital rites still practiced by them encourages abuse by both parties involved.
Dowries are expected to be paid by the family of the bride to the family of the groom. If the groom has western citizenship this is a bargaining chip played against the bride's family who seeks to use the daughter for the purposes of immigration. This is what happened to Amandeep Kaur Dhillon. Her family back in Punjab, India sold out her happiness to a Punjabi family living in Canada by paying a $54,000 dowry to them. This was done with the understanding that she would be used by her relatives back in India to immigrate to Canada. Things didn't work out as planned becuase Amandeep Kaur Dhillon lost her life at the hands of her father in law in Canada.
This buying and selling of their children into marital relations in Punjabi culture encourages marriage fraud especially if one them has western citizenship. What makes this all the more complicated is that there is a gender imbalance in the Punjabi community here in Canada as well as back in India. You see, they have developed a penchant for aborting their future daughters, an act not exclusive to South Asians but is seen in China as well. Now many sons face the prospect of having to marry outside their culture and possible race if they marry at all.
I hope those who filed the lawsuit win just like I hope the one launched by the authors of Immigration Canada Farce win as well. It is time the federal government be made responsible for the lives it ruined and the mess it has made of the immigration system.