I wrote the authorities in Guyana asking them to verify documents submitted by my clients who were seeking asylum, they did not reply

Dear Editor,

I have observed that the Home Affairs Minister has made rash and unsubstantiated statements about Canada’s refugee system, especially the one that relates to my client who was successful in his refugee claim.

The Minister urged the Canadian Government not to deport convicted criminals to Guyana. A person cannot come to Canada and live and breach the laws of the country, especially committing criminal offences and not face the consequences.

We do not want criminals in Canada and if you are a convicted criminal, we deport you to your country of birth.

Canada is a democratic country with a fair justice system where everyone is treated equally regardless of skin colour, religion, political affiliation or status in society.

It has a free press where the Government of Canada place advertisements just like anyone else, even in the ethnic newspapers.

Can Guyana boast of these attributes?

Canada gives Guyana a lot of aid in terms of money and materials, would Minister Rohee advise his Govern-ment to refuse this aid?

I, as counsel for my clients who are claiming refugee status in Canada have to ensure that all evidence provided in their claims is credible. The onus is on the clients to prove that documents and evidence provided to me are genuine.

As counsel for the claimants, I wrote to the relevant authorities in Guyana to verify the authentication of documents submitted by the claimants but the authorities never replied and a second request was sent and still no reply.

By not replying to my queries, the authorities in Guyana showed a negative attitude towards their work and lack of responsibility as state employees and even more, bad manners by not responding to a professional representing his client.

This discourtesy might be a normal practice in Guyana but certainly not in Canada.

So at the hearing of the claims at the Immigration and Refugee Board, what do you think the judge will think when I showed proofs that the authorities in Guyana have ignored my request for authentication of documents and evidence?

I must inform the Honour-able Minister that refugee status are not granted easily as he thinks, the Refugee Board does their own investigations to ensure that the claim for refugee status has merit and all documentation and evidence provided are credible.

Before a claim is heard, the Immigration and Refugee Board also provides tons of references to counsel for the claimants in connection with the claim and these references are country specific materials, Guyana in this case, and are located at the Refugee Board’s library. Painstaking research has to be done to justify a claim.

At the hearing the claimant is thoroughly grilled about everything he submitted to support his claim by the judge and sometimes by the refugee Board counsel.

From the questions the judge asks at a refugee hearing, you can see that they do a thorough study of the country the claimant comes from.

They can tell you every minute details of Guyana that Guyanese living in Guyana are not aware of.

The good thing about Canada is that everyone has access to a fair justice system without fear or favour.

If someone cannot get justice in their own country, what is the problem seeking protection and justice from another country?

Canada has proven to the world that it is a very compassionate and humanitarian country.

Yours faithfully,

Balwant Persaud

Certified Immigration Consultant

Toronto, Canada

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