In a major relief for students who are protesting against deportation orders in Canada, Lovepreet and Jaspreet Singh's deportation for June 13 has been postponed by the Canadian authorities.
In an interview with The Free Press Journal, Lovepreet Mahal said that though this decision is positive, protests will go on.
"I am positive about the decision but they have not mentioned till when it (deportation order) has been postponed. The protests will also continue," Lovepreet told the FPJ.
"War is not over," asserted Lovepreet.
Though this will prove to be helpful for these former students, who claim they were unaware of their admission letters being fraudulent, their demands of revoking inadmissibility and providing a pathway to permanent residency is yet to be met.
"Today we have a big announcement to make. My and Lovepreet Singh's deportation (from Canada) has been postponed so it can be rescheduled anytime again so the fight is not over. But government should revoke inadmissibility and provide a pathway to permanent residency," said a statement by Jaspreet.
As per Jaspreet, the Canadian authorities are working towards more stable solutions for the affected students and thanked Brampton Member of Parliament Ruby Sahota for her efforts.
"Thanks to @rubysahotalib for her efforts into this case. She said they are working on more stable solutions for the affected students," said the tweet by Jaspreet.
Canadian, Indian politicians defend former students
The announcement comes days after Canadian and Indian politicians publicised the issue of hundreds of former students being deported from Canada over fake admission letters.
While New Democratic Party leader, Jagmeet Singh raised a motion in the parliament regarding the matter, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau urged that the government is 'focusing on the culprits and not penalising the students.'
NDP leader Jenny Kwan also met with the students at the protest site in Canada, while another Conservative party leader Brad Redekopp has also been backing the students' demands and asked for a stay on the deportation.
Meanwhile, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MP Vikramjit Singh Sahney on Friday said that Canada will put on hold the deportations. Sahney, who is also the International President of the World Punjabi Organization, claimed that the Canadian government took the decision after his request and while also having the cooperation of the Indian High Commission in Canada.
"We have written to them and we have explained to them that these students have not done any forgery or fraud. They are victims of fraud because some unauthorised agents issued fake admission letters and receipts of payments. Visas were also applied without any checking. Then when the children reached there, the immigration dept also allowed them to enter," Vikram Sahney said in a letter.
In a press conference on Thursday, External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar stated that the Ministry has taken up the matter as it is unfair to the students, who studied in good faith.
“For some time now, there is this case of students, who the Canadians say, did not study in the college in which they should have and when they applied for a work permit, they got into difficulties. From the very start, we have taken up this case and our point is, the students studied in good faith. If there were people who misled them, the culpable parties should be acted against. It is unfair to punish a student who undertook their education in good faith. I think the Canadians also accept that it would be unfair if a student has done no wrong...We will continue to press,” Jaishankar said in a statement.
One deportation stayed as more hearings expected
The Free Press Journal had earlier reported that Karamjeet Kaur, who lives in Edmonton, was given a deportation date of May 29, 2023, but the decision was stayed by a federal court on May 26. Kaur has been allowed to stay in Canada for the next 6 months as she is set to face more hearings during this duration.
Why are former students protesting in Canada?
Hundreds of people (mostly former students) are now agitating against deportation in Canada, setting up temporary shelters to stay at the protest sites in the Greater Toronto Area, Airport Road in Mississauga, and other areas.
According to the former students, who arrived in the country between 2017-2020, Brijesh Mishra, a Jalandhar-based consultant, signed fake admission letters for them while charging anywhere between Rs 15-20 lakhs.
Though Mishra allegedly told them that they have been admitted to renowned Canadian colleges such as Seneca, Humber, etc, after landing in the country, they were informed that their admissions haven’t been confirmed leading them to take admissions to lesser-known, tier-2 institutions.
After finishing their academics, the individuals went on to attain their work permits and eventually continued with their PR process, which is when Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) identified their offer letters to be fake.
While Mishra is on the run, two of his associates have been arrested by the Punjab Police in connection with the matter.