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  • #16
    posted January 23, 2003 12:05 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    So far about 2,000 Pakistanis have fled to Canada to escape arrest and deportation from the United States where they had been living for years, The Dawn reported.

    The Pakistan Embassy in Washington says it knows about 400 families who have taken refuge in Canada but acknowledges that many more might have gone quietly.

    Pakistani welfare groups, who assist the refugees, say they know of at least 2,000 Pakistanis who have fled to Canada.

    "They may be right. We do not have the exact figure but we know many are going," says Imran Ali, the second secretary at the Pakistan Embassy who deals with such issues.

    Interviews with some of the Pakistani refugees reveal that most asylum seekers use three border crossings, one in Michigan and two in New York.

    Each night, Pakistanis board the midnight Greyhound bus at Manhattan's Port Authority, and six hours later they arrive at a deserted strip mall on the western edge of Plattsburgh, NY. Taxi drivers charge 50 dollars for the ride up through frozen northern farmlands to the border turnaround.

    They walk the final 300 yards through the snow to the Canadian immigration centre. Another popular route is the Buffalo-Niagara border crossing, which too is in New York.

    So far the New York-Canada border is the busiest escape route because New York City has a vast Pakistani community.

    Those who use the Plattsburgh route, end up at Canada's Lacolle Immigration Centre, 30 miles south of Montreal. The centre's director, Ronald Blanchet, says that since January 1, 150 Pakistanis have crossed this border into Canada. In normal times, he said, not more than a hundred Pakistanis crossed this border in an entire year.

    In Buffalo, which sits along a busier immigration route, a local shelter houses about 200 Pakistanis a night who wait to walk across the bridge to the Canadian immigration centre and file asylum applications.

    Blanchet noted that his staff runs criminal background checks, and relatively few of the Pakistanis fail, showing that the new arrivals are peaceful citizens who were not involved in criminal activities in the United States.

    If applicants pass that hurdle, they can continue on to Montreal or Toronto and begin a year-long series of asylum hearings.

    According to a recent Washington Post report, Canada grants asylum to 54 per cent of the applicants.

    Those who are rejected are returned to the United States and turned over to the American border station.

    On a visit to the Buffalo shelter, journalists found dozens of Pakistani immigrants from New York city who said they were "fleeing from the night raids and fear of deportation."

    They all walk to the border in freezing cold and many end up with cold and fever by the time they enter Canada.

    For those without visas in these nervous times, deportation is almost certain. The panic started after December 16, when the registration deadline for the first group of Muslim immigrants expired. More than 1,200 of those who came to register were detained.

    The detentions have sparked protests and demonstrations but last week the US Justice Department added five nations to the registration programme.

    Comment


    • #17
      Thanks Fari .we thought about Canada 4/5 years ago. We had all the point they have asked .then we heard that English is not avilable every city there except Toranto [ i'm sorry i don't know the right spelling ] .also its very hard to get a job if you are not an expert or profesonal. we know some family/persons who was there but they have to move here for those reasons. it very scary for us to go another country from here where you have to learn another language other then English. also we don't have any family or friends over there who can help . and the truth ? there was always "the hope of genaral amnesty " every day ,every year . our labour certification is pending last more then 15th months .if it took 6/8 months .then we could applied for green card by now. but its really our bad luck.I don't know about those family who is moving there but we don't have that much dare .I shouldn't think anythings nagativly but what if we can't do anythings there .then we have to go back my homeland in empty hand. its more scary too. but yes. we will talk to our law-year about it .Thanks a lot.

      Comment


      • #18
        Ruba,

        keep us posted when your husband goes for registration in case you need some help...
        good luck

        Comment


        • #19
          Sure i will .if i'll alive . .Thanks.

          Comment


          • #20
            I know a lot of people who never waited long enough to get a job... they left after three months. My father had to wait a year, but finally he got a good job in Calgary. Actually I think apart from Quebec, English is spoken everywhere, but Ontario is the preferred province since there are relatively more jobs there and a lot of Desi community. I have a cousin who moved there with her husband. First her hubby found a part time job and then moved on to a full time one. In the mean time she found a part time job too. My mother worked as a receptionist at a doctor's clinic for a while until my father found a job. She also worked at a day care. A lot of ladies I know work at warehouses. It's not easy in the beginning, but the good thing is you don't have to wrry about medical expenses in Ontario. And ultimately you and your daughter will have a good life. Do explore that option or seven try seeking asylum.. it's hard in the US but it may be easier in Canada. Don't trust people who've been living there for too long.... they'll laways discourage you because they think they've tried everything and for some reason they have this condescending attitude towards new immigrants. Patience is a virtue, and eventually you'll find a job... just make sure you apply everywhere in any province. You can even apply for a job in a US state that neighbor's Canada and that you can commute to. Ultimately, you can get citizenship if you can show that you've stayed in Canada 2 out of 5 years. Do consider that option for yourself. Take care and good luck.

            Comment


            • #21
              And if you don't have relatives, try seeking help from ISNA there who may be able to refer you to some indian, pakistani, or bangladeshi families who are already there. And Canadian's are generally very helpful and much kinder and nicer than US immigration... really. It's almost shocking. Don't worry, you'll be able to make a good life for yourself and your family. And have faith, I know it's easier said than done, believe me, I know, but it'll work out for you.

              Shakkar khoray ko shakkar milti hai. If the safety of Canada or the US is what you need to survive, then God will find a way to give it to you. Take care.

              Comment


              • #22
                you are giving her such good advice fari..really very good advice...
                I however would like to point out that if she asks for asylum in canada, this will prevent her from going back to her native country for good...that's what asylum is, isn't it ???
                and according to her previous posts she is dying to see her family...

                Comment


                • #23
                  Thanks . We are thinking everythings ,but really its not easy right now. because there is not much time left for apply and get visa or green card before March 28th. Also i'm afraid when my husband will be there for
                  registration ,what they will do when they find out we are applying for Canada.this kind of lots of questions runing in our mind always. but one thing i'm sure if everythings goes well after registration ,we will try for Canada .[if my
                  husband agree with me ]no more living like this unsucure ,out of status life without seeing family long time.and i'll use all these advice you guys are giving me.
                  and Shakkar ? my best friend living here ,she
                  is from Panjab.yes we always apriciate whatever we have ,very much thanksful to god.i also believe he will do whatever is best for us. Thanks again.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Ruba

                    I read your story very sad.We have got lots of sympathy for you.what happen to you may happen to us also.we are with you.

                    only we can prey to God for you and your family wellbeing well wishes.

                    God bless you

                    Hindu Indian

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Each nation, including and especially the US in light of 9/11, the victim of the worst terrorist attack anywhere in history,has sovereign laws and borders. The US has been naively tolerant of alien violators for too long. NSEERS (registration) is simply a reaffirmation of our sovereign right to enforce our laws. Quite simply, immigration lawyers, ethnic not-for-profits (well, some profits) and other irrelevant parochial entities, including Vicente Fox, must now stop crying foul and remember the victims of 9/11 as well as the thousands of US citizen victims of INS' inability to deter illegal immigrant murderers and rapists.

                      I applaud the Bush administration for putting the taxpaying US citizen first by creating Homeland Security and scrapping the ineffectual, parochial "play-toy" INS.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Christoph,

                        the terrorists who killed thousands of innocent people on that day 9/11 were all LEGAL !!!! most of them were students and some GC holders and others USC !!!!

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          That's true about the assylum... it will keep Ruba from going back. It didn't occur to me right then, but then I was thinking of it as an option if nothing else works and she has to choose between not going back home ever and living there forever. As for what the INS will do if they know that you're applying for immigration to Canada... nothing. They don't care if you have or haven't applied... all they care about is if you're legally here. They won't have a problem with you applying for immigration to any other country. Any issues about the Canadian thing is the problem of the Canadian government, not the US. They won't be concened with that. So that's not a problem.

                          And Christoph, the idea here IS to abide by the law and eventually become legal. These aren't loop holes we're talking about.. these are real legal options. I personally think that these checks that will be eventually put in place by 2004 (as it says on the INS website) that will serve to account for ALL non-immigrant people who enter, exit and stay in the US should have been in place long ago. People who have tried to come here to make a good life for themselves legally (and when they work for US companies or study at US institutions - paying out of state tuitions - and spend here in the US and pay taxes in the US, they do benefit the US economy... that's the economic benefit of opening borders and allowing people of other countries in. Sure the US would probably be able to sustain itself without international people moving to it's soil, but it wouldn't be the Super Economic power it is today), have often been refused for the simple reason that other's have gone and disappeared. With this system, their intentions will be in check, and ultimately if someone decides to disappear and not register... they'll never be able to make a good life for themselves because they won't be allowed credit, or allowed to open a bank account... and if they try, most likely they'll be taken in... or that's what is believed. It's just going to be a whole lot easier to catch illegal immigrants, and since America won't offer much to illegal immigrants, eventually that illegal influx will decline. The idea here is however that a person who seeks a good life should be directed towards a path where they can do so legally and not have to fear for their life and livelihood all the time. And that's what's going on here. That's what I'm attempting to offer Ruba... a way out... a way she can possibly see her dreams come true.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Remember America? Land of the free? Thomas Jefferson and Co. thought the whole thing up. Woody Guthrie sang about it. Martin Luther King went to jail to lay claim to its promises. Millions have gloried in it, thrived in its light, dreamed of its liberty. Yet ever since terrorists shattered the calm of a September morning in 2001, America's image as freedom's citadel has been under siege.

                            Who is attacking it? The last gang you'd expect. According to Human Rights Watch, the U.S. government itself is exhibiting alarming disregard for traditional American rights. The government is so intent on tracking down terrorists, the monitoring group says, that it has come to see human rights as an obstacle to its mission.

                            It's a foolish fixation -- not to mention cruel. The 600-plus Taliban prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, notes Tuesday's report, are being held "in a type of legal black hole" -- denied any guarantee of release at the end of "active hostilities" as required by the 1949 Geneva Convention.

                            And that is just where the human-rights problems start: Since 9/11, the report asserts, "anyone could be picked up and detained forever," without charge or trial, as an "enemy combatant" -- merely on government say-so. This tactic has been used mostly against noncitizens, 1,200 of whom have been secretly imprisoned.

                            Such policies are the stuff of dictatorships, not democracies. But such signs of Big Brotherish behavior don't seem to bother the White House much these days -- whether at home or abroad. In fact, since 9/11, the United States seems strangely willing to overlook human-rights abuses even when they occur overseas: U.S. support for human rights in countries that are critical to the antiterrorism campaign -- Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, for instance -- is especially muted, and often entirely absent.

                            This worries Human Rights Watch, and it should worry Americans. The White House "tendency to ignore human rights in fighting terrorism is not only disturbing in its own right," the new report says. "It is dangerously counterproductive. The smoldering resentment it breeds risks generating terrorist recruits, puts off potential anti-terrorism allies and weakens efforts to curb terrorist atrocities."

                            When the United States shrugs off freedom and human rights, other nations properly wonder what sort of war they're being asked to join. Fighting terrorism, after all, only makes sense if there's something better on offer.

                            Until now, the United States did offer something better: a government dedicated to principles of equality, fairness and due process -- to the notion that liberty is stronger than terror and need not bow to it. That certainty has long been the world's beacon -- the light that helps the lost find their way from fear to freedom. The thought that the light is dimming -- that the most important bastion of human rights is willing to trade its treasure for the chancy prospect of a little safety -- should horrify those who remember what American was born to be. Human freedom is not a commodity to be traded. Not for anything. Not ever.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              The US is protecting its borders. Bottomline, if you are here legally then you have nothing to worry about. If you are here illegally and scared, you created your own destiny, becaue you knew you had no business here out of status or whatever in the first place.

                              Unless you are one of those 245i, a child brought here illegaly and now an adult, or adjusting your status people and are currently out of status, then I can see INS having tolerance, but if you have blatantly violated our laws and had no regard for this country by staying here illegally or coming illegally, well, that was your choice and once again, it is the US govt choice to exercise its right to find out who you are.

                              I wish luck to those who are trying to do the right thing and do things legally and have fear...for those who have thought that you could get away with breaking our laws,...there is always the option of going back to your original country or Canada.

                              Many people are going to tell me I am a racist and whatever, but the US has EVERY right to ask people to register. When someone is in YOUR home, you want to know who is there, no different with the US govt.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Yes, the "Registration" is being conducted the wrong way.

                                Comment

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