Re: Survivor Man escapes Vietnam, Burnaby NOW, Jan. 16.
Thank you for publishing the piece on Le Nguyen's journey as an asylum seeker from Vietnam to Canada. I found the story compelling and a nice contrast to much of what has recently been published in the mainstream press about refugees and asylum seekers. As Mr. Nguyen's story illustrates, many people are simply looking for a safe place to live and build a life.
Contrary to Jason Kenney's characterization of refugees as "bogus" - a reference he makes repeatedly whenever the opportunity arises, we see through this story, that the lives of refugees are complex and filled with many difficult decisions.
As global inequalities deepen, the reasons why people feel the need to flee their homeland are varied.
Mr. Nguyen represents the classic, though not untypical, story of migrants and immigrants who simply want an opportunity to thrive in Canada. There are many thousands of people, who, if given the chance, would reproduce Mr. Nguyen's story.
Unfortunately, our current immigration policies do not see people like Mr. Nguyen as "desirable" anymore. Instead, we value wealth and credentials over the desire to work hard.
From clawing back of services for immigrants and refugees to the criminalization of asylum seekers so desperate to come to Canada they will travel by any means possible, our immigration system is in dire straits.
But not for the reasons that Jason Kenney would have us believe - that all the world's criminals are sneaking in the back door - but rather that people like Mr. Nguyen are no longer allowed in.
Wendy Chan, via email
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