New Delhi/Ottawa, June 8 (IANS) Assuring the 700 Indian students who are facing deportation from Canada over fake admission letters, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said they will evaluate each case and the victims of fraud will have an opportunity to demonstrate their situation and present evidence to support their case.
The remarks came as hundreds of Indian students, mostly from Punjab, have been taking on to the streets in Canada saying they were cheated by their immigration consultation agency in India that provided them fake documents, of which they were unaware of.
"We are deeply aware of cases of international students facing removal orders over fraudulent college acceptance letters. To be clear, our focus is on identifying the culprits not penalising the victims," Trudeau said during a parliament debate on Wednesday.
"Victims of fraud will have an opportunity to demonstrate their situation and present evidence to support their case," the Prime Minister said, while responding to Sikh-origin NDP leader Jagmeet Singh's concerns on the state of defrauded students, who are set to be deported his month.
"We recognise the immense contributions international students bring to our country, and we remain committed to supporting victims of fraud as we evaluate each case," Trudeau said.
Singh's NDP is reportedly preparing to introduce a unanimous consent motion in Parliament to cancel removal orders to support these students while also facilitating a pathway to permanent residency for them.
It will also assist students who could face deportation due to bogus enrollment offers.
"So my question is... will the Prime Minister stay the deportation of all these students that are impacted and provide a pathway to permanent residency for these students?" Singh asked Trudeau, presenting the case of victims.
According to the Canadian Border Service Agency (CBSA), more than 700 Indian students are reportedly facing deportation after finding that their educational institution's admission offer letters were fake.
Most of these students had come to the country to study in 2018 and 2019.
The fraud was discovered when the students applied for permanent residency in Canada.
Brijesh Mishra, a Jalandhar-based agent, was responsible for providing fake admission letters, charging students thousands of dollars.
He charged more than Rs 16 lakh per student in addition to admission fees claiming to get them to prestigious colleges.
Meanwhile, students have been continuing with their sit-ins since May 29 at Airport Road of Mississauga, outside the CBSA's head office, holding banners saying, 'Unite against deportation', 'Stop deportation' and 'We want justice'.