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Canada may give reprieve to Punjabi students facing deportation: MP Ruby Dhalla

Member of Canadian Parliament (MP), Ms Ruby Dhalla

Chandigarh: Around 700 Punjabi students facing deportation from Canada may get “benefit-of-doubt” and be allowed to stay back. The Canadian Border Security Agency (CBSA) found the admission offer letters attached to their study visa applications as fake.

Member of Canadian Parliament (MP), Ms Ruby Dhalla, said on a radio channel that Immigration Minister Sean Fraser is seized of the matter and might grant relief to beleaguered students accepting their contention that they were victims of fraud. A Jalandhar-based agent Brijesh Mishra was responsible for providing fake admission letters.

The students entered Canada from 2018 to 2021 on study visas procured on the basis of fake admission letters that were arranged or prepared by the same agent. Punjab police have already registered an FIR against Brijesh Mishra, who is involved in several cases of fraud. He is absconding with his offices locked.

Indianarrative.com was the first to break this story on March 13, 2023, highlighting the plight of these youngsters. Their parents spent large amounts while sending their children, little knowing that one day their wards may face deportation.

Ms Dalla said, “My heart goes out for the students, and I want to help them. Sean Fraser is informed about the innocence of the regularly protesting students who have either received notices for appearing before the CBSA or issued orders to leave the country after hearing them. All may benefit from the possible “benefit-of-doubt” policy of the Immigration Minister.

The MP, who is of Punjabi ancestry, said that the possible decision of Sean Fraser would not mean that the Canadian government was lenient towards violators of immigration rules and was otherwise very hard on those entering illegally.

Ms Dalla disclosed that 33 students handed-over orders to leave while several others were under investigation.

The affected students have formed an association to help each other and to collect funds for challenging deportation orders in court. In many cases, the courts have stayed the orders of the CBSA till a final decision. The court proceedings may continue for 3 to 4 years. None of the CBSA’s deportation orders took effect as the judges generously granted a stay to their deportation.

During the weekend the troubled students take out protest marches in different cities seeking support from the locals and building public opinion against the CBSA’s conduct.

One of the affected students, Chamandeep Singh Batth, earlier in March, told this correspondent, “All trouble started when they filed their applications for permanent residency (PR). The CBSA scrutinised the documents afresh and discovered admission offer letters as fake. Students were issued notices telling them to appear before the CBSA officials initiating the deportation process.”