Quick Updates: NCM Article + Ongoing Projects + Thoughts on Aylan

Award-Winning Canadian Immigration and Refugee Law and Commentary Blog

Syrian boy

Hi VIB Friends!

It has been a good minute since I last posted and not for a lack of topics to post about. Just today, we have arguably seen Canadian immigration law thrust back in the forefront of the political agenda through the tragic news of little three year-old Aylan Kurdi, his sibling, and his mother drowning while trying to leave Turkey.  I will share my brief thoughts on that later.

Vancouver-based #NoOneisIllegal (NOII) launched their very well-designed site/project, http://www.neverhome.ca which has been accused by former Minister of Canadian Immigration and current Minister of Defence, Jason Kenney of being a “fringe anarchist group.”

Even with immigration legislation being paused by the pending October election, the week to week always brings new updates

But before that, here are some quick updates on my past week.

NCM Article

Marriage Fraud Article

As many of you know I wrote this piece in response to a Toronto Sun article that I felt quite unnecessarily and inappropriately threw foreign national spouses under the bus for marriage fraud perpetrated by Canadians. I also suggested other root causes. My piece can be found here.

Outside of the article itself, I felt that I was able to engage many foreign national spouses who felt that their narrative was not being adequately represented in this piece – trying to use a ‘bad apple’ example to paint the entire orchid rotten.

I understand that several foreign national spouses who currently are in the process of sponsorship may be working to write a response piece that highlight their true day-to-day struggles – uncertain processing times, inability to work and study, and obtain the respect and acceptance necessary to establish their lives in Canada.

Ongoing Projects

First on the work end, I have been working on new “fringe areas” of the law including vehicle importation and passport revocation. The passport revocation case that I have ongoing I am particularly proud of because it is the first in the office and an area of law I believe will continue to increase thanks to recent amendments and Bill C51. See Canadian Passport Order legislation.
On the freelance/writing side, I am working on a new piece regarding technology and immigration law for Kabuk Law. It should be quite an interesting read and I think it will really play off the current focus of the Canadian Bar Association with respect to increasing accessibility of law and justice through technology and adapting to pending change.

I also received a really kind email from a blog follower in the United States. I can’t talk about all the details yet, as I want to understand it first, but it sounds super exciting. Thank you to the individual who emailed me for making my day!

Finally, I am working on some exciting ideas to launch my business immigration practice. I have been quite busy with my litigation/refusals practice but I was recently inspired by a close law school friend to look more into the area. I hope to liaise with more of the experts in the field as I begin trying to build a base. Exciting, scary, but necessary to stay competitive in the immigration law business.

Outside of Work

Some of you may know that on a personal level I am going through quite an emotionally challenging time. My father is quite ill and this has forced me to rethink a lot about work, life, and family. I joke, sadistically, that I have now been employed as a part-time dishwasher. I have had to step back a little on some of my commitments with organizations that I care a lot about. I also have taken up meditating, although this week has been increasingly difficult. I really thank Jeena Cho, a lawyer based out of San Francisco, for inspiring me along that route. Check out her podcast here on Soundcloud. She also has links on Itunes and other apps.

On this front – and I apologize for sounding like a broken record in recent posts. Family always comes first. Health of family would be the first of first. Time is too precious to spend worrying about your own career success/failure and I think even on a work end – clients respect and appreciate when you approach business with a family-oriented perspective.

On a more positive note, my girlfriend/fiancee to be is making her first trip to Canada in mid-September. I am very excited to show her our future home and begin planning for my future extended family.

On Aylan

I am absolutely devasted by the news of Aylan. The images of his lifeless body washed up on the shore stirred up strong emotions. Apparently, he may not have been included in the initial refugee claim that was refused by Canada but the case has definitely began a much needed dialogue.

Again, as I have discussed in an earlier NCM post on the topic, there needs to be some caution in reporting news. Perhaps we all (myself included) unfairly placed blame before even verifying the facts. I’m going to give it a little more time before commenting further on his particular case.

Yet the fact still exists that we need to do more. Canada, as a bastion of global humanitarianism, of human rights, needs to do more. The numbers of refugees we have currently resettled from Iraq and Syria are not sufficient given our capacity. Politics aside, this is time for us to hold up the values that we stand on as Canadians. Yes, it is a recession. Yes, essential service for Canadians, have taken a cut in recent years. But to stand on the sidelines we will never be forgiven for, by whoever the higher power may be.

As we head into the long weekend (I am attending my law school big sister’s wedding, with law school little sister in tow), I wish everybody the best. Love and health. Always.



About Us

Will Tao is an Award-Winning Canadian Immigration and Refugee Lawyer, Writer, and Policy Advisor based in Vancouver. Vancouver Immigration Blog is a public legal resource and social commentary


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