A Canadian parliamentary committee has unanimously called for the country’s border services agency to cease the deportation of approximately 700 Indian students.
These students, primarily from Punjab, were victims of fraudulent education consultants who misled them into entering Canada with fake college admission letters.
The fraudulent activity came to light in March when these students applied for permanent residency in Canada. The students, mostly from Punjab, face deportation after Canadian authorities discovered their “admission offer letters” to educational institutions were fraudulent.
The students were duped by unscrupulous education consultants in India into entering Canada with these counterfeit documents.
Parliamentary Committee’s Response
In response to this situation, the all-party immigration committee voted unanimously to urge the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to waive the inadmissibility of the affected students.
The committee also requested the CBSA to provide the students, as many as 700 from India, with an alternative pathway to permanent residence on humanitarian grounds or through a “regularisation” programme.
Statements from Officials
Jenny Kwan, a lawmaker who tabled the motion, referred to the students as victims of fraud and stated that they should not be penalised. Liberal MP Shafqat Ali echoed these sentiments, urging empathy for the students and condemning any exploitation of the situation for political gain.
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Sean Fraser stated on Twitter that they are actively pursuing a solution for international students who are facing uncertainty due to having been admitted to Canada with fraudulent college admission letters.
He added that those who have taken advantage of people genuinely hoping to study in Canada will face consequences for their actions, while innocent victims will be given every opportunity to have their cases considered fairly.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar stated that India has taken up the issue with Canadian authorities. He argued that it is unfair to punish a student who undertook their education in good faith, and that action should be taken against the culpable parties who misled them.
The committee has also decided to ask Fraser, Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino and their staff to appear before the committee to provide a briefing on the situation.
The committee has also passed a motion to issue a news release to condemn the actions of the fraudulent “ghost consultants” and also voted to undertake a study over two meetings into the targeted exploitation scheme faced by the Punjabi international students.
Image Credits: Image by Freepik