Re: Arab applicants bribe immigration officers

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Posted by Leslie on 08:11:54 2004/12/18

In Reply to: Re: Middle Eastern immigrants bribe immigration officer posted by Michael

Immigration woes growing

James Gordon
CanWest News Service

Saturday, December 18, 2004

OTTAWA - A high-profile immigration lawyer says Thursday's arrests relating to an alleged visa fraud ring in Ottawa indicate bigger problems at Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Lorne Waldman said yesterday "inhumane" policy shifts over the last few years are forcing people to take desperate measures.

"The best example is the spouses. Until two years ago, if you married a Canadian citizen, you got to stay," Mr. Waldman said.

"Now they tell you to go home and be separated from your spouse for two years, so there's all these people who are desperate and trying to find ways around the system."

Mr. Waldman said he gets approached by at least a few people a year who want to stay so badly, they ask him whether he would be able to bribe a public official to make it happen.

On Thursday, the RCMP charged a senior Immigration Canada manager and four others in an alleged scheme in which Arab immigrants paid up to $25,000 to have their claims fast-tracked and approved.

The RCMP executed search warrants at a CIC office in Ottawa, hours after arresting an operations supervisor who worked there.

Charges against Diane Serre, 34, include 13 counts of fraud upon the government.

© National Post 2004

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