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Keith Beardsley

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Citizenship Is Earned

Posted: 07/20/11 05:16 PM ET

There are media reports that the government will attempt to strip some 1,800 people of their Canadian citizenship as it is alleged it was obtained through fraudulent means.

Good for the government. This move can serve as a signal to the rest of the world that our citizenship is something to be valued and if you want to come here, please do, but apply to immigrate here and later apply for our citizenship legally.

There are the bleeding hearts who will moan that these people have made a life here, now contribute to society and perhaps pay taxes. Tough on them, they didn't earn our citizenship they got it by using fraudulent means.

People have been using forged documents, false school records and false police reports for decades to get here. Today with the three-year residency requirement for citizenship, we are also seeing manufactured evidence that some applicants have lived here for the required three years when in fact they may be out of the country for part of that time. Manufacturing documentation to meet our criteria is not some new phenomena, but an ongoing practice by some applicants and unscrupulous immigration consultants. It's time that both these consultants and the clients who use them, paid a price.

There are many legitimate counsellors and lawyers who do not participate in these activities nor do they condone them, and the Immigration Canada web site is clear as to the process that needs to be followed and to the criteria that prospective immigrants and prospective citizens must meet. If you don't meet our criteria then perhaps you should take steps before you apply to ensure that you do.

We establish criteria based on Canada's needs. You either meet them or you don't. If your first act when applying to immigrate here or when applying for our citizenship is to knowingly break the law, why should we be generous and look the other way?

As a matter of fairness, each citizenship case will be heard by the Federal Court which will have an opportunity to review the allegations and the Court will decide if there was fraud or not. Just the same, I can just imagine the excuses we will be hearing as these cases come forward. It will be everything from they have children born in Canada, you shouldn't split up families, to Canadians can afford to be more generous.

And of course all of this will be done with hints that the Conservatives are anti-immigrant. Balderdash, they broke the law. They came here illegally or they falsified documents to get a coveted Canadian citizenship. The bottom line is they don't deserve it.

There will be cries of outrage from some in the immigration industry, lawyers will be rushing to the defend the accused, immigration settlement organizations will be standing up for them asking the government to be lenient and it will make for great media coverage, but hopefully the government will stand fast.

This is not to say that this should turn into a witch hunt, but whenever fraud is uncovered it should be pursued and a potential consequence should be the lost of the citizenship you gained illegally.

By the way, I haven't seen any comments in print from either the Liberal or NDP Immigration critics. I know it is summer, but where do they stand on this issue? They are quick to jump on the Conservatives for every other item that appears in print, why are they quiet on this one?

Canadians should welcome those who immigrate here legally and applaud those who have taken the time and effort to meet our citizenship standards. They are the ones who have earned it.


Keith Beardsley's pundit blog can be found at www.atory01.com

 

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