MP Jenny Kwan: bring Afghan nationals who assisted Canada and their families to safety!

On May 10 2022, MP Jenny Kwan raised questions and concerns with the Liberal government's lack of action in ensuring that Afghans who are fleeing and hiding from the Taliban would be able to get to safety. There are over 300 former Afghan interpreters whose families have been left behind. They have made application and done a tremendous amount of work in guiding the government in bringing forward the necessary immigration measures to support their loved ones so that they can get to safety. Unfortunately, even with all of that guidance, the government has not been able to move forward in bringing their loved ones to Canada:

Jenny Kwan (NDP) Vancouver East, BC

"Madam Speaker, I rise today to follow up on the questions that I had brought to the government's attention and my concerns with its lack of action in ensuring that Afghans who are fleeing and hiding from the Taliban would be able to get to safety. I also raised with the government during this period that there are over 300 former Afghan interpreters whose families have been left behind. They have made an application and done a tremendous amount of work in guiding the government in bringing forward the necessary immigration measures to support their loved ones so that they can get to safety. Unfortunately, even with all of that guidance, the government has not been able to move forward in bringing their loved ones to Canada.

The problem rests with the government's inability to process these applications in an effective and efficient manner. The government is requiring individuals to provide documents that many of them would not have because they have had to burn them, because if they are found to have documentation that they are supporting or working with the Canadian military or have any links to the west, the minute the Taliban finds such documentation on them or in their residence, they would be targeted. This cannot be allowed to happen.

The Afghan interpreters have made these applications following the government's rules, and of those 300 applications, only 35% have been processed and 65% have yet to receive a G number. They have not received acknowledgement from the government. This is the reality. The urgency is getting grave. In fact, we found out yesterday at the Special Committee on Afghanistan that the Department of National Defence has submitted 3,800 applications that it has approved and vetted to Immigration, yet of those 3,800, only 900 have been processed. Some 2,900 are sitting somewhere and nobody knows where they are or what is happening with them.

In the meantime, we are getting media reports that Afghans who have supported the Canadian military are being hunted down by the Taliban. They have been tortured by the Taliban. That is the reality. There is such urgency in this situation that I really do not get what the government is doing. Liberals can get up every day and say what a great job they are doing, but the reality is that they are not doing a great job. There are so many family members who have been left behind and their lives are in danger every minute of the day as we speak. This cannot be allowed to happen.

I want know from the Minister of Immigration what is happening to those files. Why can IRCC not find them in the system? Global Affairs Canada has also made referrals to IRCC, and I am learning that those referrals that have been sent to IRCC have also vanished into thin air. In fact, IRCC is now asking the families of the representatives here in Canada to go back to GAC and ask it to resubmit those referrals. What on earth is going on with IRCC? Has it lost these files? Does it not realize that every minute of the day matters in the lives of these individuals and that we as Canadians owe these families to bring them to safety?"

 

https://openparliament.ca/debates/2022/5/10/jenny-kwan-3/

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