• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

Afghan Interpreters, Others Fast-tracking to Canada

Long in the tooth

Full Member
Reaction score
0
Points
0
This makes a lot of sense.  For years we've been paying people to come to Canada and foster their culture without any loyalty to this country.  Giving these Afghanis a fast track is the smarth thing to do.
 

Armymedic

Army.ca Veteran
Mentor
Reaction score
0
Points
0
"makes a lot of sense" and "right thing to do" just guarantees that some group of Canadian citizens will have a problem with this, and there will be some media seeking politician that will also disagree with it.
 

X-mo-1979

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Immigration shouldnt be a problem when they give reason for landing here to become citizens as "Due to helping your country my family and I will be killed if we remain in Afganistan"

I support their immigration here 100%.It's the least we can do.
 

slayer

New Member
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Canadians are losing jobs by the thousands, and still our govt gives them to foreigners.
 

Redeye

Banned
Banned
Subscriber
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Seriously?

No really, seriously?

I'm sorry, but what jobs exactly are being "given" to anyone by the government other than public service jobs and military jobs, most of which can't be held by "foreigners" in the first place?

Canadians are losing jobs because our economy is evolving.  Soon it will grow again and a myriad of new jobs will be created.  Never mind the fact that a lot of those jobs that those "foreigners" take are jobs that Canadians don't seem to be lining up for, and on top of that they are often very, very good at creating themselves jobs.  In Pickering where I work the convenience store next door to my office is run by an Afghan family, nice people.  The pizza shop in Oshawa I pick up dinner from sometimes, also run by an Afghan man, who employs a number of people.  There is quite a community in a few cities that these folks will probably be integrated into and thrive in.  Nothing wrong with that.  We owe them that much for the fact that they cannot safely live in Afghanistan anymore on account of their decision to help us make their country a better place.  So they come here, build themselves good lives, send money to relatives back home that helps them live better lives, and maybe one day they even decide to go home with whatever they learn from here and apply it there.  I don't see the problem.



slayer said:
Canadians are losing jobs by the thousands, and still our govt gives them to foreigners.
 
J

jollyjacktar

Guest
The Terps that I work with on a daily basis are all in a lather over this.  Some of these guys I believe could easily come home and make the adjustment to life in Canada with minimal culture shock.  Some of the others not so much.  Still, they have paid dues to us by their past and present service.  This is a right thing to do and about bloody time.  I hope that some of them get the nod.
 

McG

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
1,704
Points
1,160
If the article's title is correct and it is "hundreds" then this may actually be a disservice to Afghanistan and run counter to some of our objectives (As stated in the article, Afghanistan cannot afford for us to export too significant a number of its "educated, liberal, English-speaking people").

However, if the program is aimed at tens/dozens (even into the several tens & dozens) then I do not see any harm.
 

George Wallace

Army.ca Dinosaur
Reaction score
4
Points
410
How does this bring stability to Afghanistan?

Ottawa to open doors to local Afghan workers
TheStar.com September 15, 2009 Bruce Campion-Smith Ottawa Bureau Chief
Article Link

OTTAWA–They are privy to some of military's sensitive strategies in Afghanistan, face death alongside Canadian troops and now will be offered safe haven in Canada.

The federal government is prepared to open its doors to hundreds of Afghan citizens who have worked alongside Canadian soldiers and diplomats in Afghanistan.

The initiative recognizes that Afghans often face risks and reprisals from insurgents as a result of assisting Canadians in the war-torn country.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney will announce the program today as Ottawa releases a report card on its military and development efforts in Afghanistan.

The first choice has been to resettle Afghans and their immediate families in other parts of Afghanistan. But when that's not possible, the federal government will move them to Canada.

In this country, they will be given many of the same benefits as refugees – income support and health care – and be put on the path to obtaining Canadian citizenship.

Canadians in Afghanistan rely heavily on local workers in the camps and as interpreters.
More on link


This is freaking madness.  We are spending hundreds of billions of dollars in sending troops and equipment, Police advisors, Corrections Canada advisors, NGOs, OGAs, aid, etc. to Afghanistan attempting to bring stability to the Region.  The very people we are helping and benefiting and are our hope to continue this work after we are gone, are these very people Jason Kenny now wants to bring to Canada.  This makes absolutely no sense.  We are bringing people from a different culture, society, education, and religion out of their native land, where they can continue to contribute to the rebuilding of their nation, here to Canada where not only they will have a serious case of culture shock, but be placed on Welfare Rolls, probably in a ghetto, all at the Taxpayers expense.  This is sheer madness.















 

Shec

Full Member
Subscriber
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Is this evidence of a defeatist mentality?  Conjures up memories of the last flights out of Saigon.  I realize that our combat role is programmed to end in 2011 but that does not mean we're raising the white flag.
 

The Bread Guy

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
2,116
Points
1,260
George Wallace said:
We are bringing people from a different culture, society, education, and religion out of their native land, where they can continue to contribute to the rebuilding of their nation, here to Canada where not only they will have a serious case of culture shock, but be placed on Welfare Rolls, probably in a ghetto, all at the Taxpayers expense.

I'm looking forward to more details:  are they talking interpreters and low-level folks/"fixers", or cops/soldiers/bureaucrats?  In the case of the former, there might be some cases where they have no future once the folks they helped leave, but in the case of the latter, what GW said....

George Wallace said:
How does this bring stability to Afghanistan? .... This is sheer madness.
 

Kat Stevens

Army.ca Fixture
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
1,295
Points
1,060
Yeah, I mean it's not like they're Russians, or Chinese, or Philippinos, or Indians.  You know, those immigrants who are instinctively tuned in to Canadian culture and blend in seamlessly without forming their own communities.
 

dapaterson

Army.ca Relic
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
6,285
Points
1,090
When the West declares victory and goes home, and Afghanistan reverts to its traditional warlordism (everyone expecting a Jeffersonian democracy to take root before 2011, please raise your hand) many who supported the NATO troops will be identified as traitors and targetted for elimination.

On the moral plane, what do we owe those who supported us and worked for us?  "Thanks for coming out, sucks to be you."?  Or do we offer them an opportunity to leave with us?

Not ideal by any stretch of the imagination for some of the reasons George mentions.  I would strongly suggest that the "ghettoes and welfare rolls" is not the probable result; most first and second generation immigrants have a tremendous work ethic (particularly compared to some of their slovenly XXth generation Canadians confreres, suckign at the teat of public support from generation to generation) and contribute well to Canadian society.


Basic question:  Do we abandon those who help us?
 

The Bread Guy

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
2,116
Points
1,260
...thanks to a news release just out (highlights mine):
The Government of Canada will offer special measures to facilitate immigration to Canada for certain local staff who face exceptional risk or who have suffered serious injury as a result of their work for the Canadian government in Kandahar province, Afghanistan.

"There are Afghans who face extraordinary personal risk as a result of their work in support of Canada's mission in Kandahar," said Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. "We commend their bravery to help build a better Afghanistan while recognizing the price that they have paid. Their lives and those of their families may be threatened by insurgents, and some have suffered serious injury and can no longer work. To recognize their contribution, we will offer them special consideration if they wish to relocate to Canada."

The government plans to implement these measures in October 2009. In general, applicants must demonstrate that they face individualized and extraordinary risk or have suffered serious injury as a result of their work with the Canadian government. In addition, the applicant must have worked at least 12 cumulative months in Kandahar in support of the Canadian mission.

Spouses of Afghan nationals killed because of their work with the Canadian government will be eligible. All will have to meet standard immigration requirements, including criminal, medical and security screening. The accompanying dependent children of those who qualify would also be eligible.

Canada's approach is consistent with the objectives of similar programs offered by the United States in Afghanistan and the United Kingdom, Australia and Denmark in Iraq.

Successful applicants will receive health-care coverage under the Interim Federal Health Program as well as resettlement services similar to what is currently offered to government-assisted refugees, including up to 12 months of income support upon arrival in Canada. Applicants may apply under this program until the end of the Canadian combat mission in Kandahar in 2011.
The last part I highlight in yellow because I believe this will "disincent" ANY Afghan from wanting to help Canadians, even if there is even a notional presence left, post 2011.
 

George Wallace

Army.ca Dinosaur
Reaction score
4
Points
410
What a can of worms.  Not only is your highlighted portion a fairly damning point, but I beg to question how anyone is going to perform a timely and thorough criminal, medical and security screening that is acceptable to national standards currently in effect?

This is nothing more than a "feel good" political move by not only our politicians, but many other nations (as stated in the articles) to save some face after abandoning the Afghan people.
 

The Bread Guy

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
2,116
Points
1,260
.... from the backgrounder to the earlier news release:
The Government of Canada will offer special immigration measures for certain Afghan nationals who have served as local staff in Kandahar province.

To be eligible, the individual must provide evidence of:

    * Extraordinary and individualized risk as a result of employment and contracts in direct support of the Canadian government in Kandahar; OR
    * A non-accidental or non-natural injury, resulting in risk to life or inability to work, due to employment and contracts in direct support of the Canadian government in Kandahar; OR
    * Being the spouse of a local staff member who has suffered a non-accidental or non-natural death due to employment and contracts in direct support of the Canadian government in Kandahar. The accompanying dependent children of those who qualify would also be eligible.

In addition, the local staff member must have at least 12 months of cumulative service with the Canadian government in Kandahar.

A committee of senior Canadian officials from departments active in Kandahar, such as the Department of National Defence/Canadian Forces, Public Safety Canada and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, will be put in place to recommend whether the individual meets the selection criteria for participating in this program. If the committee determines that the individual meets the program requirements, the individual will be referred to Citizenship and Immigration Canada for processing and a final immigration decision.

Applicants who qualify for the special measures will also be required to undergo immigration medical screening as well as criminality and security screening by our partners: the Canada Border Services Agency, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Those who do not qualify may still apply under existing immigration measures, such as the economic and family classes. Those who don’t meet immigration criteria can request humanitarian and compassionate consideration. Such applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

There are an estimated 300 Afghans who are providing direct support to Canada’s mission in Kandahar and may be at risk. Canada expects that up to 50 principal applicants, plus an average of two immediate family members, totalling 150 people, will be eligible each year. There is no cap, however, on the number of people who may become permanent residents under these measures. The annual cost of implementing the special measures is estimated at $3 million a year and will be funded out of existing departmental budgets. The program will conclude in 2011 to correspond with the scheduled end of Canada’s combat mission in Kandahar.
 

Larkvall

Member
Subscriber
Reaction score
0
Points
0
I don't think too many of these guys will end up on welfare, but I do agree with George that this does not help to bring stability to Afghanistan. These are the types of people that are needed for Afghanistan to build itself into a proper nation (whatever that means). If it is such a forgone conclusion the country is going to go down the toilet why don't we just pull out now?
 

Edward Campbell

Army.ca Myth
Subscriber
Donor
Mentor
Reaction score
1,056
Points
1,160
dapaterson said:
When the West declares victory and goes home, and Afghanistan reverts to its traditional warlordism (everyone expecting a Jeffersonian democracy to take root before 2011, please raise your hand) many who supported the NATO troops will be identified as traitors and targetted for elimination.

On the moral plane, what do we owe those who supported us and worked for us?  "Thanks for coming out, sucks to be you."?  Or do we offer them an opportunity to leave with us?

Not ideal by any stretch of the imagination for some of the reasons George mentions.  I would strongly suggest that the "ghettoes and welfare rolls" is not the probable result; most first and second generation immigrants have a tremendous work ethic (particularly compared to some of their slovenly XXth generation Canadians confreres, suckign at the teat of public support from generation to generation) and contribute well to Canadian society.


Basic question:  Do we abandon those who help us?


I'm with dapaterson, point by point. There will be a few short term costs but I do not see how we could offer less.

Remember "one is too many"? Never again.
 

The Bread Guy

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
2,116
Points
1,260
In May 2009, we hear the first hints of something being worked on.

In September 2009, we hear Canada's commitment to act.

In January 2010, the Canadian Press says it's not going as well as one would hope:
Canadian soldiers might be long gone from Afghanistan before Afghans who risked their lives in support of the mission are ever allowed into Canada.

Nine months after Ottawa promised to expedite immigration applications from those Afghans, the new bureaucratic maze they have to navigate has barely sputtered into existence.

(....)

Applicants must first fill out a form and hand it along with supporting documentation to a third party in Kandahar city - the International Organization for Migration, an intergovernmental agency.

The organization then passes approved applications to a "joint referral committee," comprising senior Canadian military and civilian officials at Kandahar Airfield.

The committee does not yet exist.

In a series of email exchanges, Citizenship and Immigration Canada said implementation of the program has been "negatively impacted" by the security situation in Kandahar.

However, it said, the third-party agency was "continuing to provide information and assistance to potential applicants." ....
 

cn

Member
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Found on 680 News Toronto's website.

http://www.680news.com/news/national/article/58973--cda-finally-processing-entry-requests-for-afghan-interpreters-but-few-make-cut


Cda finally processing entry requests for Afghan interpreters, but few make cut

CALGARY - More than a year after Ottawa promised to fast-track immigration applications for Afghan translators a narrow list of applicants who meet the criteria to come to Canada has been compiled.

Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney originally announced the program for Afghans who face "extraordinary personal risk" in support of Canada's mission to Kandahar.

But out of 114 applications only 25, or roughly 21 per cent, have been approved to come to Canada by the joint committee made up of officials from the departments of National Defence, Foreign Affairs, International Development and Immigration and Citizenship. The committee works in conjunction with the International Organization for Migration, an intergovernmental agency.

"We're beginning to process some of the approved applications. There was a delay because we need to work as well through the International Organization for Migration and they removed all their staff for security reasons in Kandahar," Kenney said in a recent interview.

"The security situation has made it go slower than I would have liked but we're finally starting to process some of those positive applications and some of those people should be settling in Canada shortly."

Neither Kenney nor officials in his department could say exactly when the successful immigrants, who are allowed to bring along two family members each, would finally be arriving in Canada.

Applicants require 12 months service to the Canadian mission and a recommendation letter from a senior soldier or diplomat. They also need to meet standard immigration criteria such as criminal, medical and security screening before being allowed to come to Canada.

They're not considered refugees, but special immigrants who fall through the cracks of current law. At the time Kenney said he expected "a few hundred'' successful applicants to qualify by the time the mission and the program ends in 2011.

The life of an interpreter who works with the NATO-led mission can be a dangerous one. An unexpected knock, a threatening late-night phone call, or a so-called "night letter'' nailed to the front door — such intimidation tactics are a chilling fact of life for locals who work as translators for the Canadian Forces or federal agencies on the ground in Afghanistan.

Insurgents have gone to gruesome lengths to make an example of locals who work with NATO. In one case, several interpreters' bodies were strung up in a public square and left to rot there for weeks as a lesson to anyone thinking of helping the foreigners.

Both the delay and the low number of interpreters that have so far been approved is a concern to Liberal MP Dan McTeague, the party critic for consular affairs.

"Obviously the time this has taken is painfully slow and certainly an agonizing time for those who have been given assurances that everything would be done at the early stages," said McTeague.

"It's a troubling statistic. One would hope that the numbers do reflect the need and that we are not leaving someone behind unduly who might otherwise suffer as a result of our ability to determine who is legitimate and who isn't."

McTeague said for those who have been working with Canadian efforts going back to 2005, the wait can be seen as "stretching the limits" of what would be considered fast-tracking.

The interpreters — "terps," in military parlance — are vital in the coalition's effort to communicate with most Afghans. By the country's usual standards, it's lucrative work — $600 a month, compared with the national average of just $300 a year. Afghan soldiers, by comparison, make $250 a month.

Many interpreters live and travel full time with Canadian soldiers, helping commanders converse with village elders, politicians or local villagers.
 
J

jollyjacktar

Guest
About friggin time!  I do hope some of the Terps I worked with make it here.  They deserve a chance to live in peace.
 
Top