Monday, June 13, 2005

Opinion on the immigration thing

As some of you know, I didn't say much about the controversy about Grewal's immigration and the allegations that he had broken the rules. This was partly because I was emersed in the tapes themselves and partly because I felt uneasy about whether or not it was fair to him to apply this much scrutiny to ancient facts. And, in any case, we only really have one man's word for this and we have no idea what his motivations are.

I've been thinking some more about this and I think what really bothered me about this story were the suggestions that, if true, he could (in theory) lose his citizenship and be deported.

Friends, this kind of step cheapens citizenship for all us all. If Grewal can lose his citizenship for finding a loop-hole in the regulations, other immigrants could lose it for more serious breaches. This runs the risk of creating two kinds of citizenship--that possessed by those born here, and that possessed through naturalization. Clifford Olson and Karla Homolka have the first kind and cannot lose their citizenship; in short, we're stuck with them. It should be no different for immigrants. After they get citizenship, no matter what they do, we should be stuck with them. Otherwise, we have two kinds of citizenship and no immigrant will ever be the true equal of any native-born Canadian. And that is wrong.

Maybe the rules should be tightened. And surely serious infringements of the rules (which we may not have here anyway) should be prosecuted and (if proven through due process) be punished. But the suggestion that the punishment might include the loss of citizenship strikes me as deeply unsettling.


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