Hill Times: Palestinian Canadians race against time and each other as Gazan visa cap threatens hopes of family reunification

NDP MP Jenny Kwan (Vancouver East, B.C.), her party’s immigration critic, and MP Matthew Green (Hamilton Centre, Ont.) also wrote a letter to Miller, calling the imposed cap “shocking” and “indefensible.”

“In this catastrophic environment, families in Canada with loved ones trapped in Gaza should not be pitted against each other out of fear that their application will not be considered when the arbitrary 1,000 applications quota is filled,” reads the Jan. 5 letter calling on the government to immediately retract the cap on applications. 
In a Jan. 8 interview with The Hill Times, Kwan said she was initially relieved to hear the announcement of the program, rewatching Miller’s press conference twice and signing up for the briefing the next day in order to provide as much accurate information as she could during a Zoom meeting later that evening with Palestinian Canadians across Canada who had hoped to access the program. Kwan said that when she joined the call, she was met with more than 1,000 participants, each with family members of their own in Gaza who they hope to bring to Canada.
“It was such an important announcement that gave people hope that they could bring their loved ones to safety,” Kwan said. “When [Miller] announced the cap, disappointment doesn’t even begin to describe it … they gave them hope, and now they’re going to shut the door quickly and say ‘good luck to the rest of you.’”

Kwan said she has no doubt that the cap would severely limit the number of people who would have otherwise accessed the program, noting that even without the cap, there were already significant hurdles to getting people to safety outside Gaza.

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