Canadian sponsors want government to speed up processing applications for Sudanese refugees

Canadian-sponsored Sudanese refugees in Jordan say it’s ‘very dangerous to go out’

Sponsors want government to speed up processing applications

By Amanda Pfeffer, CBC News Posted: Jan 18, 2016 8:56 PM ET Last Updated: Jan 19, 2016 12:10 PM ET

Jordan government began deporting Sudanese in response to protest camps outside UN offices in Amman.

Jordan government began deporting Sudanese in response to protest camps outside UN offices in Amman. (Reuters)

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Sudanese Refugees 7:06

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Sudanese refugees waiting to come to Canada from Jordan are in imminent danger, according to their Canadian sponsors, who are hoping immigration officials process their cases at the same pace as Syrian refugee cases.

A spokesperson from the office of the minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada said the ministry is trying to come up with options to assist those who may be in danger.

Jordan began deporting Sudanese back to their home country in December, despite concerns by the United Nations and other human rights groups.

Sponsor Document

Sponsorship applications for Sudanese refugees in Jordan have been accepted, now wait to be processed. (CBC)

Sponsors fear at least one young man invited to come to Canada on a scholarship was deported in mid-December, while other Sudanese refugees in Jordan are being told to lie low.

The refugee sponsorship applications of a dozen Sudanese in Jordan have been accepted to come to Canada but now await the final processing stage, according to the Archdiocese of Toronto, which helps private groups sponsor refugees.

The Archdiocese is working with groups to sponsor nine Sudanese refugees, including a family of five and four individuals.

‘Very dangerous to go out’

Two men being sponsored told CBC News that they have been afraid to leave their homes in Jordan out of fear of being swept up by police and deported back to Sudan. CBC News has protected their identities for their safety.

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“All the people from my house — they’ve been deported,” a young Sudanese man being sponsored through the Archdiocese of Toronto told CBC News in a Skype conversation.

Canada will take in 10,000 parent, grandparent sponsorship applications this year

Immigration Minister John McCallum says it is a priority of the Liberal government to reduce wait times for Canadians who want to sponsor their parents and grandparents, spouses and common-law partners, children and caregivers.

Immigration Minister John McCallum says it is a priority of the Liberal government to reduce wait times for Canadians who want to sponsor their parents and grandparents, spouses and common-law partners, children and caregivers. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

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Immigration Minister John McCallum says 10,000 applications for reunification of parents and grandparents will be accepted this year, despite a notice posted on the government’s web site earlier this week cautioning applicants that a 5,000 annual cap was still in place.

In an interview Friday on CBC News Network’s Power & Politics, McCallum said the government received over 14,000 new applications from Canadians who want to sponsor their parents and grandparents after it re-opened the program on Monday. 

TORONTO: Vinay and Poonam Sarin join group who sponsored 16 members of two Syrian families

Vinay and Poonam Sarin of Toronto have organized a group of people and raised $70,000 to bring in two families of Syrian refugees (16 people in total). Vinay worked at BMO for 25 years, then went to law school and now practices as an immigration lawyer. Poonam spent 10 years working at a women’s shelter. Both are immigrants from India.Toronto immigrant couple pays it forward by sponsoring Syrian refugees

The donors: Vinay and Poonam Sarin

The gift: Helping raise $70,000

The cause: To sponsor two refugee families from Syria

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“We were talking about sponsoring some refugees as a way to help others,” said Mr. Sarin, who spent 25 years at Bank of Montreal and is now an immigration lawyer in Toronto.

Working with Lifeline Syria, a charity that assists refugee sponsors, the Sarins joined a group of 11 people in Toronto who sponsored two families consisting of a total of 16 people ranging in age from 3 to 40. One family will be arriving from a refugee camp in Turkey and the other from a camp in Lebanon. The group has raised $70,000 to help settle the family and organized accommodation and other necessities.

The Sarins feel a special bond with the new arrivals since both immigrated to Canada in the 1970s from India. “This country has been good to us,” said Ms. Sarin, who spent 10 years working at a women’s shelter in Toronto. “And we are proud to be Canadians.”

B.C.: Alan Kurdi’s uncle opens hair salon in Canada less than a week after arrival

Alan Kurdi’s family opens hair salon in Canada

Family and friends celebrate salon opening, while strangers drop by to offer congratulations

CBC News Posted: Jan 02, 2016 9:05 PM PT Last Updated: Jan 02, 2016 9:05 PM PT

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Kurdi Hair Design 2:51

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The family that has become the face of the Syrian refugee crisis has hit another milestone — Tima Kurdi and her brother Mohammad, who just arrived in Canada, have opened a hair salon in Port Coquitlam, B.C.

On Dec. 28, Mohammad Kurdi, his wife and five children arrived at Vancouver International Airport to be welcomed by Tima and four other people, who each put up $5,000 to sponsor the family in Canada.

The arrival caused a media frenzy for the family related to Alan Kurdi, the three-year-old boy whose lifeless body was found washed up on a Turkish beach in September 2015.

It’s been three years since Mohammad and his family left Syria, where he worked as a barber. Now he’s ready to get back to work alongside his sister in B.C. at the salon called Kurdi Hair Design.

Syrian family reunited in Coquitlam

Coquitlam Syrian family says this will be ‘the best Christmas ever’

Mirna Nakhleh’s mother and brothers are now settling in B.C.

By Bal Brach, CBC News Posted: Dec 16, 2015 6:43 PM PT Last Updated: Dec 16, 2015 6:44 PM PT

Mirna Nakhleh (centre) and her three children will spend their first Christmas with their grandmother Maryam Hawa (left) in 10 years. Hawa arrived in B.C. as a Syrian refugee last week.

Mirna Nakhleh (centre) and her three children will spend their first Christmas with their grandmother Maryam Hawa (left) in 10 years. Hawa arrived in B.C. as a Syrian refugee last week. (Bal Brach/CBC News)


After 10 years apart and the last twelve months in limbo, Mirna Nakhleh’s mother and two brothers arrived in Canada last week via Lebanon.

Syrian single-man arrives in Montreal to reunite with uncle and aunt

Second plane of Canada-bound Syrian refugees lands in Montreal

A Canadian military jet loaded with 161 Syrian refugees landed Montreal Saturday evening.

 Members of the Kanou family from Laval Quebec arrive at the Canadian government welcoming centre in Montreal to pick up a family member as part of the first wave of refugees to arrive in Montreal, Quebec on Saturday, December 12, 2015.PETER MCCABE / THE TORONTO STAR

Members of the Kanou family from Laval Quebec arrive at the Canadian government welcoming centre in Montreal to pick up a family member as part of the first wave of refugees to arrive in Montreal, Quebec on Saturday, December 12, 2015.

MONTREAL—When the airplanes passed over the Syrian city of Hama, Nawal Jzdan’s family would crowd into the bathroom of their apartment and cower in fear until the threat of errant bombs dropping from the sky had passed.

On Saturday night, the sound of incoming and outgoing jet engines was the first instalment of what Jzdan’s family considers a blessing—one they credit to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Her 23-year-old nephew, Eyad Kannab, was one of 161 Syrian refugees to arrive in Montreal.

“Thank you Canada. Thank you Quebec. Thank you Mr. Trudeau. He said it and he did it,” said Jzdan’s husband Antoin Kanou.

Of those on the first flight to land in Montreal, which is home to Canada’s largest Syrian expatriate population, all but one were being privately sponsored by relatives, churches and other groups in Quebec’s largest city and its suburbs of Laval and Longueuil, federal immigration officials said.

One individual on the flight was heading on to Charlottetown, PEI.

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