How would you feel if you met the man of your dreams in India, fell in love and got married, but after he arrived in Canada, you were no longer a newlywed, but a victim of marriage fraud? What your husband really wanted was Canadian citizenship, not a lifetime relationship “that no man should put asunder”.
Canada’s Immigration minister has recently filed a “notice of intent” indicating the department’s desire to request public input before amendments are made to the current laws. The goal is a crackdown to stop this illegal form of immigration which shockingly has been linked to narcotics offences, embezzlement, the sex trade and human trafficking.
Last year Immigration Minister Jason Kenney held town hall meetings in Vancouver and Montreal where dozens of marriage scam victims described the callousness of their spouses, some rejecting the marriage bonds as soon as they landed at a Canadian airport.
Stories were told of complaints to Citizenship and Immigration Canada that garnered no response. Immigration lawyer Julie Taub was reported as saying she believes there are hundreds of cases of marriage fraud that have not been investigated.
Meanwhile in California, an entrepreneurial family: mother, father and daughter, were arrested for arranging marriages for visitors to California who wished to stay and enjoy the sun and the surf. Their scam involved recruiting the down-and-out, including addicts and the mentally disabled, who became spouses of their foreign clientele, all visitors from India.
The Bhargava family promised to pay $2000.00 to the American “spouses” although some were never paid in full.
Their business was lucrative as they were charging up to $60,000.00 to supply a United State’s citizen for marriage and their fraud might have continued had they not become overconfident. Before their arrests they had taken to using the same American spouses and were recycling marriage certificates in their applications for green cards for their clients.
Both scams deserve denunciation and punishment, but the emotional scars of the Canadian scam call for action and enforcement of our laws.
Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang