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Our immigration system is busted: Tony Martin

NEWS RELEASE TONY MARTIN, MP ***************************** Martin says government must fix crisis in broken immigration system MP offices have become “default immigration office” SAULT STE.
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NEWS RELEASE

TONY MARTIN, MP

***************************** Martin says government must fix crisis in broken immigration system

MP offices have become “default immigration office”

SAULT STE. MARIE - The immigration system in Canada is so backlogged and short-staffed that MP offices are now the “default immigration office," swamped with cases that are dominating their workload, Sault MP Tony Martin said today. 

MPs have to dedicate almost one staff completely to handle these cases. 

This is government work that government should be doing. 

“We currently have 82 immigration files open in my office,” Martin said. 

Martin’s staff notes that immigration and citizenship files tend to be time consuming, some lasting years, with many meetings, follow-up calls and some appeals. 

Many immigrants do not have access to technology and don’t always understand the language. 

They look for assistance in completing forms and obtaining accurate information. 

The local office does not help with the completion of forms.

“The staff at Citizenship and Immigration Canada offices is not to blame,” Martin said. “They are doing a credible job against all odds. The only answer, really, is to provide more money for training and to hire more staff. This is a border community with a significant number of newcomers, especially with the change in ownership at Essar Steel Algoma and Tenaris Tubes. Currently, the local CIC office is only open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. When a staff member is away or ill, a staff member from Sudbury has to travel to Sault Ste. Marie to ensure services to the public are maintained.  This in turn leaves the Sudbury office short-staffed."

MPs across Canada are raising the issue of their staff handling immigration questions. 

While the government points to online sites to assist people, applicants can often get frustrated with the long delays and need someplace to go an speak with someone to understand what the delays mean. 

New Democrat, Brian Masse (Windsor West) said the current system wasn’t designed to deal with events after the 9/11 disaster and the immigration department needs to be modernized and properly funded.

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