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Lawyers file $400M suit over immigration laws

Lawyers file $400M suit over immigration laws

Old Apr 3rd 2003, 12:48 am
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Default Lawyers file $400M suit over immigration laws

Source: CTV.CA
Lawyers file $400M suit over immigration laws

Immigration lawyers are launching a $400 million class-action suit against
Ottawa, saying current laws are cheating tens of thousands of potential
immigrants out of the chance to come to Canada, The Globe and Mail reported

According to The Globe, the lawyers wants the Department of Citizenship and
Immigration to reverse its plan to use strict new criteria to evaluate the
applications of potential immigrants that have been pending for more than a

In December, 2001, the Immigration Department decided that tougher criteria
would be used to evaluate applications that had not been approved as of
March 31, 2003. But the move pertains to pending applications, not just ones
that were filed after Monday's deadline for using the old criteria.

Two teams of lawyers filed applications yesterday on behalf of three
potential immigrants who were hit by the retroactive rule change, but they
are seeking class-action status to include 30,000 to 40,000 similar cases in
the suit.

Prem Samuel Sathya Dass, who applied to come in Canada in 1999, is one of
the initial plaintiffs in the suit. Dass' application, which had been
pending for almost four years, will be rejected because he receives a
failing grade of 64 points under the new rules. By the old criteria, he
would have passed with 72 points.

Last month, Ottawa lost a similar suit and was required to push through 102
applications under old criteria ahead of the deadline. In that case, a judge
decided the Immigration Department had misled parliament by suggesting
anyone who applied before March 31 would be handled under the old rules.

"This is an effort to convert that and to extend the results of the
(earlier) case to all of the people that are in the same situation," Toronto
lawyer Ronald Foerster, who filed the applications, told The Globe.

The lawyers say if Ottawa does not process the applications under the old
rules, the government should refund the fees and legal costs of applicants
who applied ahead of the deadline.

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