With the proposed changes in the rules and regulations for immigration and citizenship of federal skilled workers (FSW) by the Canadian government, residents of Ludhiana aspiring to go to Canada have found Facebook to vent their anger against the Canadian government. Residents also staged a protest at Chattar Singh Park here on Sunday.
Under the proposed legislation, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will close the files of FSW applicants who applied before February 27, 2008, and for whom the immigration officer had not made a decision based on selection criteria by March 29.
The affected people have created a page on Facebook, namely "Prospective Canadian Immigrants". Rakesh Kumar Garg, one of the affected persons, said a page had been created on Facebook to bring together such people who would be affected by the proposed legislation by citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism minister of Canada Jason Kenney.
"We are well aware of the reach of Internet and also that it has the ability to reach the deaf ears of the Canadian government. This is the reason a page has been created on Facebook and a large number of people are joining us everyday not only from Punjab but from almost all Asian countries," said Garg.
Nearly 200 people from across the state gathered at Chattar Singh Park on Sunday to discuss their future course of action. The affected people also raised slogans against the Canadian government. The Canadian government had stated that eliminating the longstanding backlog of FSW applications (prior to February 27, 2008) would allow the CIC to focus resources on facilitating the arrival of skilled immigrants who apply under the current eligibility criteria.
Ranbir Batish, a follower of the Facebook page writes, "It seems as we are punished for trusting Canada blindly. Since we planned to settle in Canada our lives have come to a standstill today. Honourable minister wants the youth to come, but he forgot that we were also young when we had applied and if our cases are delayed it is not our fault."