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My Thoughts on Bill C31

Recently the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration tabled Bill C31 the “Protecting Canada Act”. Being an immigrant myself, I was interested to see what this bill was all about. I could share with you all some of the struggles faced by immigrants on a daily basis but it would not be totally relevant to this bill.

This bill addresses more the refugees who instead of going through the normal channels the way I did, attempt to jump the queue instead of waiting for due process to take its course. I can assure you the wait for processing through normal channels is very stressful. You are always wondering “Was something wrong with my application?”, “Did I forget to include something?”, or “Are the laws going to change before a decision is made on my file?” … Since I came to Canada through the proper channels, it somewhat upsets me that other individuals could come from countries similar to the country I came from and in some cases a very democratic country not unlike Canada, and claim persecution or human rights violations.

Remarkably enough, many of these people stayed here for years and exhausted many legal battles to remain here. I waited almost 4 years for my application to be approved and these people just got on a plane and arrived at the border to make their claim. And they were given free medical care, free dental and vision care, free or subsidized housing, free open work permits, free education for their children and even free groceries. To me this was so unfair. I had to work pretty hard for all of this. I thought to myself, “Did I make a mistake in doing things the proper way? It was much harder to go through all the waiting”.

Now I see finally the Minister is cracking down on these persons who are trying to enter Canada under false pretences in an effort to jump the queue. I feel good now knowing that I did things the right way. The minister now says if you come from a free and democratic country, don’t waste our time and your money by coming here, you will be turned away. All of the channels that were open to these individuals that provided them the means to circumvent the system have now been removed. The loopholes have all been plugged and the real emergency cases will still be allowed to proceed but with more speed as opposed to before. This is the way things should be. It will also hopefully put an end to human smuggling and those who traffic and exploit human beings. It provides for swift and harsh penalties for these bad persons and will put an end to their unjust business practices.

Yes, indeed there may even be prison time given to those people who try to do trafficking in human beings or the “Human Smugglers”. In summary, I must admit that while I am not always agreeing with all the proposals that the Minister would like to implement, I do support this Bill C31.

Jolly Yin
Immigration Program Student at Ashton College
under the tutelage of Jose Godoy Toku

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