Punjab to provide free legal assistance to students facing deportation from Canada

Chandigarh (IANS): Punjab Non-Resident Indian (NRI) Affairs Minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal on Thursday said the state government will provide free legal assistance to 700 students facing deportation from Canada.

Most of these students belong to Punjab and they will be assisted by lawyers who are experts in immigration laws in Canada. Besides, Dhaliwal has written a letter to all MPs of Punjab origin in Canada to solve the issues of these students so that the future of the children can be secured.

Presiding over a meeting with civil and police officers associated with the NRI Department here, Dhaliwal issued instructions to all Deputy Commissioners and the SSPs to scrutinize the documents of travel agents and immigration agencies and send a report by July 10.

He expressed concern that many travel agents are running immigration agencies illegally.

Dhaliwal said Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has already given clear instructions to improve the system. He said if the system would be transparent and clean, then there will be less scope for human trafficking by illegal travel and immigration agencies.

He said a special campaign against fake travel agents and immigration agencies would soon be launched in Punjab.

The minister said in the past 10 years, if any Punjabi immigrant has been deliberately implicated in a wrong case, it should be brought to their attention. Such cases will be investigated and justice will be given to the victim.

Taking an exclusive initiative, this time NRI meetings will be held for the first time in those villages whose immigrants have done good work in their villages or earned the name at the national or international level.

Dhaliwal said the NRI meetings to be held at the district level from July 15 to August 30. He invited all non-resident Punjabis to bring their problems during NRI meetings and efforts will be made to solve every problem on the spot.


MEANWHILE, on the issue of many Indian students facing deportation in Canada due to fraudulent admissions, India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said in New Delhi that they should not be penalized for someone else’s crime.

The minister said the students took admission and studied at those colleges in good faith and it is “unfair to punish” them.

“For some time now, there is this case of students, who the Canadians say did not study in the college in which they should have, and when they applied for a work permit, they got into difficulties,” Jaishankar said.

Hundreds of Indian students, mainly from Punjab, are facing deportation from Canada after the authorities there, found “admission offer letters” to educational institutions to be fake.

“From the very start, we have taken up this case and our point is, the students studied in good faith. If there were people who misled them, the culpable parties should be acted against. It is unfair to punish a student who undertook their education in good faith. I think the Canadians also accept that it would be unfair if a student has done no wrong. We will continue to press,” Jaishankar added.