The Face of Immigration


“It is easy to see something as a big ENTITY and
just as easy to forget what is at the core of our fascination with it”.  

I spoke in an earlier
post http://gailsforum.blogspot.com/2011/10/one-more-time.html about
bringing my ex-husband here from Jamaica and dealing with immigration.  It
is an awful process that many can attest to and it seem very cold and
soulless at times.  
The immigration officials have a horrendous job
of ignoring the pleas and sob stories to focus on the criteria being met for
anyone wishing to become a citizen of our Country.  For the person
sponsoring a loved one and following the process with endless paperwork, blood
tests, police checks, proof of blood relation for parents and/or kids or proof
of relationship for fiancés and spouses can take months and sometimes years.
We had started the process in Feb 2001 had to
re-apply in Jan 2002 and he finally arrived in June 2002.  It was grueling
and the obstacles along the way eroded our hopes of reuniting. 
I have a friend named Nima who works at a coffee
shop close to my work and at every opportunity I have tried to give her courage to keep the faith that her young son and fiancé would soon be here.  She came here to find opportunity and contribute the the multicultural fabric of Canada.
When I first heard about her situation it was
over a year ago and throughout she has complied with every request from immigration but her
heart has been longing to hold her son and sleep next to her fiancé once more.
This week she finally got the news they were
coming and now she has to find a new place to live, get her son enrolled in
daycare and buy the things they will need in preparation for their arrival.
Nima’s Son 
I remember that feeling so well of being at the
airport waiting as my ex-husband was detained by immigration.  I was
hoping and praying that he would be in my arms soon.  Holding that piece
of paper stating a permanent status was like getting a golden ticket.
I can only imagine how hard it has been for her
to be without her son who is still very young, how he must miss his Mommy and
what a reunion it will be when she can finally tuck him in at night once more.
I feel blessed to have met Nima, I believe that friendships have no barriers and sometimes the conversation you start with someone who works
at a coffee shop, bar or even the person you meet on the street can bring you
into a wonderful story that magically evolves right in front of your eyes.
I would hope that whenever issues about
immigration are at the forefront that we don’t forget what our new friends are
going through and how much they deserve happiness for the sacrifices, hard work
and hope they’ve displayed.  



I know that many people feel that we compromise as
a Country by giving up certain traditions we hold dearly from childhood or the ones that were passed on from generation to generation.
I feel blessed to call Canada my home because it
holds such a wonderful opportunity for so many people I cherish and the ones I
have yet to meet.  They give up their home, family, culture, traditions,
communities for a better life here.  I can’t even imagine giving up my Second Cup coffee let alone leaving everyone I love behind.  

I wish Nima, her fiancé and her son a very
blessed life here and I look forward to hearing about all the wonderful moments
they will share.