Allow 4-year-old Daksh to Live in Canada With His Parents
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Dear Minister of Immigration, Citizenship and Refugees John McCallum,
We ask that you take the necessary steps to immediately reunite a 4-year-old boy with his Ottawa parents by issuing a temporary resident permit to Daksh Sood. He has been separated from them and forced to live in India for over two years because of simple human error and apparently inflexible governmental reading of immigration regulations under the previous government that could be remedied with the stroke of your pen. You may be familiar with the Ottawa Citizen story on the case ( http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/ottawa-couple-granted-permanent-residency-in-canada-but-young-son-stuck-in-india ) and this update (http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/adami-parents-wonder-if-their-son-4-will-ever-be-reunited-with-them-in-canada)
On October 8, 2015, you declared: “Liberals are going to fix our immigration system, and make sure that families can be together, growing their communities and local economies alongside their loved ones."
Your statement is a welcome one that reflects the law of the land: family reunification is a key part of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and a noble goal, but unfortunately, that spirit of generosity has not extended to the hard-working Ottawa couple Bhavna Bajaj and Aman Sood, permanent residents who in January, 2013 were told by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), that they can never bring their 4-year-old son, Daksh, to Canada to live with them. The reason for this conclusion is simple: having received poor advice from an immigration consultant, they did not fill in the proper paperwork when they originally came to Canada as skilled workers in 2013. It was a simple, honest mistake, for which they have been punished for over two years by not being allowed to raise their baby boy here in Canada.
Human beings make errors, honest mistakes, and people should not be punished for them, especially when no harm was intended or done, and one of the individuals concerned is so young and needs to be with his parents. We know that even Immigration Canada makes mistakes. Indeed, the Toronto Star reported on January 5, 2015 that "CIC employees often fail to use correct form letters or provide accurate timelines," errors which "could not only cost individual applicants a chance to live and work in Canada but affect the efficiency of the system and create unnecessary backlogs."
Bhavna and Aman cry every night for missing their son Daksh during some of his most important formative years. They do not seek to deceive or cheat the immigration system, and it's been very difficult for them to go public about their private lives, but it is something they are willing to do in order to reunite their family and to enjoy the embrace of their little boy in their Ottawa home.
The Canadian visa office in India has twice refused to handle the case for ridiculous reasons (including suggesting that Daksh apply as a skilled worker even though he is 4!). So now the decision rests in your hands. Please act now!
Please exercise your discretionary power under section 25 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to allow Daksh to be reunited with his parents in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. Please issue a temporary resident permit so that Daksh can immediately join his parents this holiday season in Ottawa.
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