Immigration needs reform, listeners should speak out
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When I started my law practice 20 years ago, I quickly learned that our immigration system was not only delivering poor service to immigrants, but that it was also failing to properly serve the interests of Canadian citizens and corporations.
It was clear that the voices of immigrants were not being heard and that the interests of our citizens and business leaders were being ignored.
I was attracted to this specialty because I felt that I could help those who were getting entangled in this increasingly complex bureaucracy. I spoke up whenever I could but few in a position to effect change seemed to be listening.
When I started writing this column in September 2004, there were, and still are, very few people writing regularly or critically on the topic let alone from the perspective of an immigration practitioner.
This column gives me the unique opportunity of giving a voice to all those people who are in need of an efficient, fair and sensible immigration process.
Unfortunately, I can only tell their stories from the point of view of a lawyer and not from first-hand experience.
Although I have represented hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of Canadians trying to sponsor their spouses, I have no first-hand knowledge of what it must feel like going to bed alone, night after night, while I struggle to prove to a bureaucrat that my love and commitment to my partner is genuine.
Nor have I personally suffered the frustration of a new mom who is trying to return to work but can’t because her foreign nanny’s work permit application sits idle.
Similarly, I have not personally suffered the financial setbacks of the Canadian company who is prevented from recruiting the foreign workers it desperately needs to remain profitable in an increasingly competitive global economy.
I would like to think that this column has helped at least a few readers avoid some of these difficulties.
And so, I am pleased that starting on Jan. 14, and in addition to writing this column, I will be hosting a new one-hour radio show every Sunday morning at 11 a.m. on Toronto’s AM640.
As I have done here for the past two years, I will continue to share the immigration news, my immigration views, and some advice on the topic.
Hopefully, this new show will give my readers and listeners a chance to call in and tell their stories in their own words.
You never know. Coming from you, the message just might get across.
Guidy Mamann is the senior lawyer at Mamann & Associates and is certified by the Law Society as an immigration specialist. Reach him at 416-862-0000. Direct confidential questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Immigration Hour