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Canada turns away Pakistanis fleeing United States

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    Canada turns away Pakistanis fleeing United States

    Canada turns away Pakistanis fleeing United States
    Crowding in advance of INS deadline forces policy change
    Friday, January 31, 2003 Posted: 8:32 PM EST (0132 GMT)

    NEW YORK (CNN) -- Canada has begun sending back Pakistanis from the United States who arrive at border crossings seeking refuge.

    The crackdown began Thursday, one day after CNN and the Washington Post reported hundreds of Pakistanis, many carrying all their belongings and leading small children, were walking in subfreezing temperatures across the U.S. border to ask for amnesty in Canada.

    Men from Pakistan face a February 21 deadline to register with the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service under a new program that tracks their whereabouts.

    Many of the immigrants have visas or full residency in the United States, but they have been panicked by stories that Pakistanis who show up to comply with the new INS requirements have been detained for months on minor technical violations, then deported without their children.

    At some border crossings, Canada had been accepting the Pakistani immigrants' asylum applications and letting them enter the country within hours. As of Thursday, though, all border crossing began sending them back to U.S. immigration authorities, said Rene Mercier of Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

    They are given appointments to return to Canada, where they can be considered for asylum, but U.S. immigration authorities can choose to detain or deport them if they find cause to do so.

    Mercier said Canada's policy calls for immigrants to be sent back with appointments to return when border crossings become overwhelmed by one group. The border crossing between Plattsburgh, New York, and Montreal, which had seen about 100 Pakistanis last year, has seen about 200 since January 1.

    Ronald Blanchet, who runs that border crossing and implemented the crackdown Thursday, said he sent back 39 Pakistanis that day and another 33 Friday afternoon.

    Salvation Army Capt. Dennis Cregan said his Plattsburgh office was packed with Pakistani families sleeping on the floor. He said he was asking agencies in nearby Vermont for help.

    He said many of the Pakistanis said family members were detained and deported by U.S. immigration officials after being sent back from Canada. Those who did not have a family member detained planned to return to Canada for their appointments to apply for asylum.

    "It's very sad," Cregan said. "They are all over the floor of my church. There are small children."

    In Buffalo, New York, an immigration rights group called Vive La Casa had been giving Pakistanis legal representation to help them cross over to Canada and sheltering hundreds as they awaited an opportunity to make their case. Thursday, that group announced: "Immigration laws have been amended in Canada. Overcrowding has also forced us to change our housing policy. Refugees who travel to Vive should be prepared to find independent housing in hotels or hostels."

    The refugees began showing up just over a month ago, when Pakistan was added to the list of countries whose nationals must register with U.S. immigration authorities when they are in the United States.

    i posted this same tragic news with a Washington Post quote but for some reason it was deleted! why, God only knows!


      This news makes me vey sad.

      Why can't our people stay on the good side of the authorities. I feel so bad for these families.


        It's always our people's fault. Tsk tsk.


          Originally posted by Ana:
          It's always our people's fault. Tsk tsk.
          Who told them to migrate illegally?


            Originally posted by Ana:
            It's always our people's fault. Tsk tsk.
            Here's an op-ed article by a Pakistani

            The US immigration rules cannot affect those Pakistanis who are there legally, and who adhere to the laws as required. If thousands are at risk of being deported, as complained Kasuri, which has ‘immensely agitated public opinion in Pakistan’, then it must be assumed that those thousands are there illegally or that they have not abided, as they should, by the laws and are therefore ripe for legal deportation.

            While some legal people have been hassled, the only people who risk deportation are people who violate the rules.


              legal or illegal, I think the US and Canadian govt's should do whatever it takes to ensure that these people of housed and fed as human beings ...they are in our shores and with families.

              remember, Christoforo Columo was not issued any visa and he just showed up here one day on a boat.

              remember, Kunta Kinte (sp!) didn't apply for H1 visa to come and work in the sugar plantation.

              I am an Indian Amrican, proud of my origin and nationality but I am very concerned about msitreatment any people in the US where resources are not a problem. We throw more money away in porkbarrel projects in one day than it'd take to provide proper housing and healthcare for a year to these people.


                Once again.. Just suspicion no Proof or no charges. But the word Pakistanis in all TV news and newspapers !

                Canadians hold two Pakistanis at U.S. border
                Saturday, February 15, 2003 Posted: 11:08 AM EST (1608 GMT)

                NIAGARA FALLS, Canada (CNN) -- Canadian authorities Saturday were questioning two Pakistani men, detained as they tried to enter Canada from the United States carrying materials that triggered the scrutiny of customs agents, police said.

                No charges have been filed against the men, and Canadian police would not disclose what they were carrying or why they were detained Friday morning.

                "We are right now assessing everything, determining whether or not there will be charges laid," Cpl. Michele Paradis of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said Friday.

                On Saturday, Paradis would offer no further information about the status of the two men, except to say they were being held for questioning.