Federal NDP: International students misled by dishonest recruiters shouldn’t have to pay the price

FEDERAL NDP Critic for Citizenship and Immigration Jenny Kwan, in response to the pending deportation of Punjabi international students, said in a statement on Friday: “Right now, students who came to Canada for their university education are under threat of deportation. I wrote to [Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship] on Thursday, May 25 urgently calling for action to help these students who, unknowingly, received fraudulent travel documentation from bad actors looking to make money from their deceit.”

She added: “I’m glad that the minister is responding and indicating that moving forward his government’s focus will be on identifying the culprits and not penalizing the victims.”

Kwan said: “On behalf of the NDP I want to make it clear that, as the Liberal government goes after the culprits, it is critical that the pending deportations are stayed, and inadmissibility on the basis of misrepresentation waived and an alternate pathway to permanent status, whether it’s humanitarian and compassionate application process, or a broad regularization program is provided to the students.”

She noted: “International students are a huge part of university towns across our country. They help our economy and contribute their time and talent to Canada. It is crucial that anyone who considers studying here can have confidence that they will be treated well and that our processes are trustworthy and fair. I urge the minister to act immediately to stop these unjust deportations.”


Here is Kwan’s May 25 letter to Fraser and Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino


As the NDP critic for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, I am writing to you with urgency regarding the situation of 700 Punjabi International students who are the victims of a targeted exploitation scheme.

These students find themselves in a devastating situation through no fault of their own, as they were unknowingly provided inauthentic admission letters. According to reports, the students applied for visas through a consulting company which has since been closed. The issue only came to light when the students applied for Permanent Residency.

I have been informed that there are currently over 150 of these students who now have a deportation order dated for next week on May 29th.

Some of these students have already spent half a decade living in Canada and paid international tuition fees to complete their studies. Many are now working in essential frontline jobs. These students should not be punished for the actions of a fraudulent agent. It would be unjust and harmful to deport the students whose lives are now established in Canada.

In the 42nd Parliament, the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration undertook a study and issued a report Starting Again:  Improving Government Oversight of Immigration Consultants.  The testimony from individuals who were taken advantage of by bad actors, including ghost consultants, was devastating.  One of the recommendations to government, in part, was to ensure that applicants be given the opportunity to review and correct the errors or misrepresentations made by the ghost consultant.  The full recommendation is below.


That, when Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada suspects that an application has been prepared by someone other than the applicant, who has been paid for their services and who is not an authorized representative (“ghost consultant”), IRCC should continue to process the application, advise the applicant of their suspicion, and inform the applicant how to find a properly licensed authorized representative. IRCC should then also allow the applicant the opportunity to review the information provided by the “ghost consultant” and, if in good faith, the applicant or someone on the applicant’s behalf has submitted an application which contains any error or misrepresentation not authorized or previously known to the applicant, the applicant should be permitted to correct the errors or misrepresentations made by the “ghost consultant”. 

Therefore, as the NDP critic for Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, I urge that you immediately stay the deportation orders for all impacted students, and allow them to apply for a Humanitarian and Compassionate application, as you look further into the situation.

Barring any concerns with serious criminality, I would also urge you to support the calls of the Migrant Workers Alliance for Change and Migrant Rights network, by providing the students with a pathway to permanent status as part of a broad regularization program, and by waiving inadmissibility on the basis of misrepresentation.

Please do not hesitate to contact my office to discuss this issue further. I look forward to your timely response on this urgent situation.



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