Letter to Mr Jason Kenney - 27/09/2010

Mr Jason Kenney
Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister
Government of Canada

27 September 2010

Dear Mr Kenney,

Grant Punjab Legislators a Visa Quota to Tackle Fraudulent Immigration Consultants

As a former 40 year resident of the UK, a former British citizen and a frequent visitor to Canada I understand the pressures on your Government in differentiating between genuine and fraudulent visa applications.

You have recently visited Punjab and have sought the cooperation of the Punjab government in tackling “bogus immigration consultants”. Whilst yours is a reasonable request you may need to temper your expectations of decisive action by the Punjab Government.

I have worked with the British authorities, both in my constituency and at seminars in the UK, to stress the importance of the legal migration route and to encourage people to resist both fraudulent visa documentation and illegal migration traffickers.

I have consistently argued for the legal route and I have always encouraged my constituents to reject the services of fraudsters and traffickers. It is, however, a difficult argument to sell and I have no doubt lost support for not assisting those of my constituents who simply are not prepared to consider legal options.

Prevailing poverty and desperate existences explains why there are perhaps very few legislators in Punjab who take this approach with their constituents. The sad reality is that most, if not all, of these fraudulent consultants and traffickers enjoy political patronage.

Your Government needs to engage every legislator in Punjab as part of a campaign to promote the various legal migration options to Canada.

For this to work I suggest that you incentivise each legislator with the ability to nominate one person every six months for migration to Canada. Uncooperative legislators would have such rights withdrawn, with these being reallocated to those your government assesses to be better supporting your initiative in letter and spirit.

As there are 130 elected MPs and MLAs in Punjab, such a facility would result in a maximum of 260 persons migrating, a relatively small figure in the context of overall inward migration to Canada. The upside is that within 2 or 3 years there could be a transformation in the public mindset with a decisive rejection of illegal methods.

The severity of the problem warrants creative initiatives. This proposal would improve the quality of information reaching potential migrants and the assistance of the legislators would improve the quality of your verification process.

I trust that you will give this your full consideration.

Yours sincerely,

Jassi Khangura MLA

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