Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Don't deport Fatme Kamkar

OTTAWA — Fatemeh Kamkar is someone who could make a contribution to this country — the kind of immigrant the federal government always says it wants.

Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/health/Federal+tape+snarled+hopes+Iranian+student/5827143/story.html#ixzz1h3ZUnUFG

OTTAWA — Fatemeh Kamkar is someone who could make a contribution to this country — the kind of immigrant the federal government always says it wants.

A student at the University of Ottawa since 2005, when she arrived here from Iran, Fatemeh is a year away from her doctorate in cellular and molecular medicine. She is looking forward to a career as a medical scientist, following in the footsteps of her younger sister, Maryam, now a Canadian citizen who lives in Ottawa and works for U of O’s faculty of medicine as a researcher.

She applied for her permanent resident visa around the same time as Maryam and her brother-in-law, Bahram Zargar, both of whom arrived in Canada in 2003. The couple became permanent residents in 2007, and that opened the door to Canadian citizenship.

But unlike Maryam and Bahram, Fatemeh’s visa application got caught under the wheels of the federal bureaucracy. And in the end, the government’s snail pace in processing her application determined her fate. Unless Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney intervenes, Fatemeh will be booted out of the country after she graduates because late in the application process, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“Her application was delayed, and it took (immigration) a long time to respond, and by the time they did, she had cancer,’ says Rezaur Rahman, her immigration lawyer. “This is a very sad story. She’s the face of a lot of (immigrants).”

Fatemeh’s cancer was discovered by her doctor in November 2009, more than four years after she applied to become a permanent resident, and more than two years after undergoing and passing her first immigration department medical. A criminal-background check was done in 2006, and though she was originally led to believe in 2007 that she would not be subject to a lengthy interview with immigration officials, she was asked to undergo the questioning in July 2009. Questions included what she thought about terrorists.



Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/health/Federal+tape+snarled+hopes+Iranian+student/5827143/story.html#ixzz1h3Zou6Ag

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