OH NO! The Conservative Government has started to deport Illlegal workers! HORRORS!
That is the sentimentality that the Toronto Star wants to leave with its readers with today’s front page story.
Tories begin deporting illegal workers
Portuguese families caught in immigration crackdown
Illegal workers in Toronto’s underground economy are being deported as the new Conservative government abandons a Liberal amnesty plan, immigration lawyers and consultants say.
Some families who have been in Canada five years or more are being given less than two weeks to pack up and leave.
Toronto’s Portuguese community — with up to 15,000 undocumented members, working mainly in the booming construction industry — is especially concerned.
Early last year, then-Immigration Minister Joe Volpe said he would try to find a way to get legal status for undocumented workers.
“They are here already and have proven themselves to be integrated,” Volpe said at the time.
Last May, he said he had signed off on a final draft and the plan was set to go to cabinet. But nothing was done during the following six months before the Liberals were defeated.
Immigration officials now say they will continue to enforce the existing policy, with increased resources.
In February, Immigration Canada notified the Portuguese embassy in Ottawa that it would continue with the current law and be strict in applying it, Maria Amélia Paiva, the consul-general in Toronto, told the Star’s Isabel Teotonio.
Portugal’s ambassador to Canada, João Silveira Carvalho, has publicly told people to avoid trouble and to “stop feeding the myth” in Portugal that you can come to Canada without documents, several community members said.
So let me get this straight, these workers come into Canada knowing they are in the country illegally. Then the Liberal government says, “ok…no problem! We can fix this, we’ll make it legal someway” and then do nothing. But, the Liberals point out, they were working on it. However, the Liberals took so long in drafting an action plan that something called an election eventually creeped up.
RIGHT! You hold a minority government position and don’t try and get this drafted piece of legislation at least into the House of Commons for First Reading before a threat of an election? Did the Liberals miss the threats of a non-confidence vote since April 2005ish?
As well, Former Immigration Minister Joe Volpe says these people have proven themselves to be integrated with Canadian society. If these illegal workers were integrated with Canadian society wouldn’t they have work visas? Perhaps maybe the quoata for their work visas had run out.
“It doesn’t make sense. These people are contributing to Canada’s well-being and economy.”
To ease the shortage, Canada offers one-year temporary work permits for people with construction skills. The annual quota of 500 is never met, Ferreira said. “So we need these (undocumented) people even more.”
Nope, the quoata on work visas for people with Construction skills has never been exhausted. So these people are needed? If their is a high demand for construction workers and visas still available, wouldn’t construction companies want to make sure their workers are documentd? This might prevent their employees from loosing their construction jobs because of deportation back to Portugal.
“So we need (undocumented) people even more.” This line takes it. If these people were serious about staying in this country and contributing to Canada in a positive way, wouldn’t they inquire with proper authorities on how to become legal citizens of the country? Wouldn’t the construction companies be providing incentives to make sure these people become documented?
Among those impacted is the Ferreira family[…] — parents Joe and Elizabeth, both 39, their son Licinio, 21, and daughter Alicia, 18 — who were ordered on March 17 to be on this Sunday’s Skyservice flight.
The Ferreiras — who came to Toronto in March 1999, to visit relatives and decided to stay illegally — are typical.
The children went to school, Joe worked as a bricklayer and Elizabeth got a job in a window factory.
“Life was good, but we were scared to get caught,” Licinio, who now works in construction, said in a weekend interview.
Afraid to get caught? Criminals, and that is what these people are, should be caught. If you do something illegal, isn’t that a crime? Aren’t people who knowingly break laws called “criminals?” Why haven’t the government caught people like the above and deported them earlier? That is what I am wondering.
The Fereira family example just scares me as a Canadian. I wonder how many undocumented inviduals and families are wandering around Canada that wish to do North American society harm. If it was that easy to overstay a visitors visa that the Fereira family was on, couldn’t someone else or group of people do something similar? What happens if these undocumented people wish to Canada harm? What then?
The Ferreiras acknowledge they were here illegally and must go. But they think the policy doesn’t make sense, and they don’t like how they’ve been treated.
“We’re working and go to school,” Licinio said. “We pay income tax, do everything by the book, but we’re treated like garbage.”
“It’s not fair, sending people home in two weeks,” said cousin Paula Goncalves. “If you own a home or car, what are you supposed to do? People who work their asses off here, who aren’t any trouble whatsoever, are sent home. They’re hard-working people.”
Since receiving their “direction to report” — the final notification to be on a particular flight — the Ferreiras have scrambled to prepare to leave.
“A week isn’t enough to get rid of the car and do everything I need to do,” Licinio says. “It’s a huge commotion. A lot of other people are in the same situation. They’re being completely unfair to us.”
The Feriera family is now looking for sympathy. I have none for them. The family knew they were here illegally, yet they want more time to remove themselves from the country. If the family had of been here legally in the first place under a visa, the family would have had more than enough time to sell their possessions and move back to Europe. But the family chose not to.
The family claims they “do everything by the book”. I guessed the family missed the fine print, you require proper citizenship documentation in order to work in Canada. But I do note how nice it was of them to pay taxes and send their children to school. That is a late start on playing by the rules. The beginning of playing by the rules in living in the country as a “legal” citizen instead of the family’s current situation as “illegals”.
Unfair? I think it is unfair the family was allowed to stay for so long without following the proper rules. Perhaps others like them will consider playing by the rules next time around.
Sympathy? I have none for people who choose to come to Canada illegally.
Refugee status? That is where I feel sympathy for. However, citizens of the democratically elected country of Portugal who wish to come to Canada are not refugees. These people have made choice to come to Canada on their own without threats to their lives like many refugee claiments do.
Again, if you are going to enter Canada and want to be a contributing member of Canadian society: GOOD ON YOU! Just please play by the rules…and make sure you know all the rules.