Open Letter to Our Nation's Leaders: Family Reunification

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Open Letter to Our Nation's Leaders - Family Reunification

Voices4Families would like to bring to your attention the exhausted efforts of Canadians in hopes to reunite with their families via the Spousal Sponsorship program. We are Canadians whose applications have surpassed the 12-month timeline and have spent the pandemic alone without the support and love of
our families. The announcements made on June 8th, September 24th, and October 8th of this year by the Minister of Immigration have not facilitated the process of reunification for us. We remain separated since the lockdown in March and for many families, for many months prior to the pandemic. Each passing day continues to be filled with anxiety, discouragement, or depression as our hopes to see our families
dwindles. Therefore, a solution for an immediate reunification by a Ministerial Instruction is sought, which is within the powers of five ministers, primarily Minister Marco Mendicino. We have sent tens of thousands of letters, protested numerous times Canada-wide and protested outside Minister Mendicino’s office in rain and shine since mid-October. We have filed 2 petitions tabled at the House of Commons. Almost 2 months after filing House of Commons Petition e-2747, we received a very
vague response from Minister Mendicino that reiterated that applications for Temporary Resident Visas would not be denied under “dual intent” for those with open spousal applications. However, the barrier to providing evidence to satisfy an immigration officer of section 179 (b), the intent that our spouses will leave after the “visit,” remains, and we are left helpless, with our lives held in the hands of a single
immigration officer. The criteria treat our spouses in the same manner as a tourist visiting Canada and applications continue to be denied for this reason.
Everywhere we turn we are faced with roadblocks to reunification. Border closures and travel restrictions across the globe, lengthy processing times and delays, VO offices open at partial capacity, and denials of tourist visas, as well as the issue of having to factor into finances and plans, the 14-day quarantine upon returning from any foreign country.  We are looking for concrete solutions. We need our families. They are essential to our health and wellbeing, and that is the main concern for all Canadians today. We hear it on the news every hour. We are Canadians too, and request the same treatment. Hence, before the end of this year, we are looking for a compassionate and supportive response from all Members of Parliament, Senators, Canadian human rights organizations, religious institutions, community leaders and the United Nations during these unprecedented times. We would appreciate your support to push for immediate reunification which will solve the injustice and other unlawful discrimination of this outdated immigration system and provide relief of further mental and emotional distress and financial loss.
We therefore urge the Minister of Immigration to implement a special policy for spousal sponsorship applications wherein; the applicant has provided a clear criminal record check/police certificate, the Canadian sponsor has been granted eligibility, and the application has already passed the 12-month processing time. We thank you in advance to hear our concerns with your common humanity as fellow
Canadians. We appreciate your time and attention brought to this matter.

Jennifer Hasenknopf (Co-Founder)
Voices4Families

voices4families@gmail.com