Families kept apart by Harper government's immigration policy

TORONTO, April 20 /CNW/ - Immigrants can wait up to 14 years to be reunited with their parents and grandparents because of a government that claims to support families, it's not fair, and voters should make it an election issue, according to a video and a national ad campaign from the Canadian Migration Institute.

The ads are running in ethnic print publications in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and the video is being distributed via social media. Both can be viewed at:

"The sad fact is that many parents and grandparents may not have 14 years left. As a nation built on immigration we shouldn't be keeping families apart for so long," said Imran Qayyum, CMI Chair. "The Harper government claims to support family values, but it doesn't extend that support to the families of immigrants."

The number of visas issued to parents and grandparents will be 33 per cent lower in 2011 than it was just a year before. Over 150,000 people will be on a waiting list for only 11,200 visas.

"Family reunification is one of the cornerstones of Canada's immigration system," said Qayyum. "And hard working Canadians will face outrageous delays to reunite with their parents and grandparents because of this government's policy. It goes against Canadian values and Canadians shouldn't stand for it. We have launched this public awareness campaign in order to bring this issue to the forefront. Our message is clear, this issue affects all Canadians either directly or indirectly and we encourage people to vote for the candidate who supports family reunification in the upcoming Federal election."

The role of the Canadian Migration Institute (www.cmi-icm.ca) is to educate, accredit and advocate on immigration law and policy. CMI represents more than 1,850 authorized immigration representatives and is the largest organization of its kind in North America. CMI has several chapters throughout Canada that provide regional support through accredited educational programs, advocacy on provincial issues and a local network for interaction and connection amongst authorized representatives.

SOURCE Canadian Migration Institute

For further information:

Tiffany Nyklickova, (416) 815-4277 x2245, tnyklickova@cmi-icm.ca

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Canadian Migration Institute

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