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Opinions of Thursday, 15 July 2010

Columnist: Quaye, Stephen A.

Flying To Overseas, From Fry Pan To Fire

From: Stephen A. Quaye, Toronto-Canada.

Are you seriously considering the economic situation in Ghana and think there is no way you can make ends meet therefore the only way out is for you to change destination of residence from Ghana to Europe, the Americas or any foreign country of your choice?

Then is better you change your mind and strife to develop your own life in Ghana instead of traveling to overseas country now that the economic situations everywhere are not the best because you will be flying from fry pan to fire if you think living in Ghana is a hell then you will be living in fire in your foreign destination.

It is plain and simple. Those foreign countries are stunned by the way immigrants are filling their country and struggling to find work to do where there are no jobs therefore the need to tighten their immigration security system by changing most of the laws to allow immigrants to enter their country through fraudulent means adopted by crooked immigration consultants. Too much of stress, employment lay offs, closure of companies that offer job opportunities to people, marginalization of newcomers by their own relatives who sponsors them to these foreign destinations will tear your heart apart and die or pick a chronic ailments only for you to return to Ghana and struggle to cure or succumb to it to eternal life.

Investigations have revealed that many Ghanaians put pressure on their relatives living in a foreign country to sponsor them to join the. The pressure sometimes get worse to the point that in order to be free, these sponsors contract immigration consultants who intern use crooked means to defraud applicants and never fulfill their promises of getting them in preferred foreign destinations.

These crooked visa contractors, use arrange marriages, refugee claiming status to try and get visas for their clients but often are rejected because applicants are mostly found to be true relatives of the applicants claiming he or she was marrying the newcomer assisted by the consultants whiles those claiming refugee status are in fact not refugees at all therefore arrested and deported back to their country of origin including Ghanaians as well who are found guilty. Many are Ghanaian women who were sponsored through this crooked system and today are stranded because they can not bear the economic stress in these foreign countries and would have wished not to have migrated to these part of the world at all. What made the system so glaring for the government of Canada to suspect crooked dealings was how the country was recording high rate of divorce from newcomers making it to dive deep and find out the main causes of the situation since a chunk of the tax payers money was going into paying welfares of affected persons. Then came the news reported by the 24 Hour newspaper in Toronto on April 13, 2010 with the headline,” CRACKDOWN ON IMMIGRATION THROUGH ARRANGED MARRIAGE as the story said a plan by Ottawa to crackdown on newcomers who use arranged marriages to fraudulently come to Canada has drawn mixed reactions from community groups.

But the government has also maintained that the proposed measures are not designed to affect genuine applicants-only those who use arranged marriages as a guise to gain entry into the country.

“These marriages cause a great anxiety and should be strictly regulated commented by Tarek Fatah, of the Muslim Canadian Congress.” They cause a great deal of problems in the community”.

Then came June 7,2010 edition of the Toronto Star with the news flashing on the frontage under the headline,” Ottawa takes aim at bogus consultants” where it announced that the Immigration minister Mr. Jason Kenney was going to unveil a new law that will make it a criminal offence to offer immigration services without being a registered consultant. In fact the already unveiled law ‘The Cracking Down on Crooked Consultants Act, allows law enforcement to lay criminal charges against so-called ghost consultants who prey on vulnerable, would be migrants but who are off the officials radar. According to the story, such individuals could face a 50,000 Dollars fine and a two year jail term upon conviction. The changes in the law comes three years after the Star Investigative series exposed unscrupulous immigration consultants who have continued to take advantage of the laws loopholes, despite a new regulatory body Ottawa established in 2004 to weed out these operations.

“The new legislation will crack down on crooked consultants who exploiting tens of thousands of people who dream of coming to this country” the paper quoted a source.” This has created an entire industry of underground ghost consultants who offer people fraudulent advice.

“This has obviously been a long standing problem,” said the source, who added that the ghost consultants offer counterfeit documents and never fulfill their promises. Examples of consultants taking advantage of the system include charging applicants for refugees claims when they are not real refugees or taking applicants money without completing the necessary paper work. The law also enforces the Royal Canadian Mounted Police [RCMP] AND Canada Boarder Services Agency officers to go after unauthorized individuals whose names appear in immigration or refugee application as legal representatives. There is also a plan by the county sign bilateral and multinational agreements with other countries to crack down on fraudulent activities of overseas immigration consultants, who are out of Canada’s reach. End.