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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Case argues for access to humanitarian channel

In a case before the Canadian courts, lawyers are arguing that poor immigrant candidates who are applying under humanitarian and compassionate grounds, should have their application fee waived if they cannot afford it.

However, lawyers for the government said the access to humanitarian consideration, as opposed to access to justice in courts and tribunals, is not a right but "an exceptional relief on discretionary bases." (sic)

To me, its another interesting governmental disconnect when you call a process compassionate, yet start it with an act of self-interest (making the applicant pay a fee to be considered). Face it, while it is government's role to provide a range of agreed-to services, legislated by their MPs, it is the bureaucrats role to limit access to those same services. There's nothing like a fee to keep something out of reach.

The government is granting residency in these cases over half the time - which tells you that half the time, these people should have been let in in the first place, if only the case officer considered the WHOLE case. This avenue of last resort for immigrants is in essence a path of extortion. H/C grounds applications are "appeals" - they are heard in front of an appeals official. To say you have no right to appeal a poor judgment unless you can pay (the current standard) is highly undemocratic. Unfortunately, it is not unique to Canada.

If you can pay a fee that covers some of the overhead on your case, that's fine. But if an applicant truly can't, then come on Canada - show some real compassion.

Read the whole story here

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