Reality Meets Policy

One of the great tragic aspects about immigration policy is that sometimes officials have to make virtual life and death decisions involving families that can have devastating results. This is the case in regard to the former Toronto Argos football player who was deported from Canada from criminality and who now seeks to return to Canada since he has cancer and seeks medical treatment unavailable in his home country. The full story appeared in the Toronto Star and is cited below.

Canadian immigration law requires that an immigrant that commits a serious criminal offence be deported from Canada. This is what happened in this case. Canada’s immigration law also holds that immigrants cannot come to Canada if they will pose an excessive demand on Canada’s healthcare system. This appears to be another concern in this case.

In an ideal world because of the negative impact on this person’s Canadian family and the family reunification aspect of this case which falls in line with Canada’s policy of keeping families together whenever possible, this immigrant would be allowed to return to Canada to get the medical care he needs and to live out his life in Canada as he is no doubt remorseful for what he has done that led to his criminal conviction. But we do not live in an ideal world – we live in a world where matters such as criminal offences and economic burdens on the health care system that we all count on as Canadians have to be factored in. ¬†Policies regarding criminality and burdens on the medical system are made to protect society from abuses and to benefit those who live in the country by advancing their safety and their security in terms of access to health care. Enforcing the policy, while cruel to the individuals involved, is beneficial to the long term good of the people of Canada.

For these reasons I will track news about this case with interest to see what the immigration officials will do. If the decision were up to me, I would turn the applicant down for the reasons mentioned.


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