Heidi Roggero : Another failure of Canadian Immigration

The recent Heidi Roggero case has highlighted yet another failure of Canadian Immigration. She is a US national who was married to a Canadian and has five children from the marriage.

She is a citizen of US and came to Canada in 2000. Her relationship lasted 9 years with the Canadian spouse and he never cared to file the sponsorship for his wife. Heidi is the clear victim of the abuse that she is left with five young children to feed with NO support. She has no status in Canada and thus cannot work in Canada legally neither can she take her children to US until the custody issues are resolved.

Though a very important question arises here is that why did she not have her husband file the sponsorship for her in 9 long years? It is pretty understandable that she had to care for children, she could not work but did she not care for her medical coverage? These questions apart, there should have been a system in place for the welfare of children. It is easy to check the status of Canadian long term visitors especially if they have kids in Canada. If the immigration department work closely with vital statistics agency of Canada, half of these cases can be resolved without having them to take the recourse of applying under Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds and waiting several years for the status.

It is very painful to know that Heidi has to depend upon her friends and neighbours for their day to day needs. This can hurt the growth of tender minds of Roggero children. Heidi’s ex-husband is several months behind in making support payments. Though there is a law against the defaulters but Heidi’s own immigration status would be questioned as soon she tries to make a claim. Her fear of being deported is perfectly justified given the current Canadian immigration system.

It would definitely be good to see that such cases are fast tracked or some special measures are taken to cut the plight of victim like Heidi!

Renu Goel
Immigration Program Student at Ashton College
under the tutelage of Jose Godoy Toku

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