Monday, 17 May 2010

Glacially Slow, Wilfully Stupid And Blind To Human Suffering

Imagine this: You escaped your home 13 years ago and claimed refugee status in a foreign land. You get a job, put down roots and have 3 kids, only to be told that because you were once a member of the party that provides the current legitimate government and president in your home country, El Salvador, you are finally about to be deported back there. But, and it is a big but, it is not because it is safe for you to return but because the organisation was the FMLN, which once waged an armed struggle against the military dictatorship and "is an organisation that there are reasonable grounds to believe is or was engaged in terrorism and/or subversion," according to the Canadian Border Services Agency.

Even more bizarre is the fact that when Jose Figueroa's refugee claim was originally turned down in 2000 the Immigration and Refugee Board recognised the FMLN as a legitimate political party, and that the civil war in El Salvador had ended in 1992, five years before Mr Figuera entered Canada. On top of that, Mr Figuera's 3 Canadian-born children only speak English and the eldest, 12-year-old Jose Ivan, is autistic and will not be able to get the special schooling he needs in El Salvador and is very unlikely be able to learn Spanish at his age. It seems like immigration bureaucracy is the same the world over: glacially slow, wilfully stupid and blind to human suffering.

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