Sikh family matriarch faces deportation to India following hearing in Victoria

Published: January 14, 2013

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

Surjit Bhandal, 83, surrounded by family and friends, listens during a December 2012 news conference discussing her deportation. Lyle Stafford/Times Colonist files

Jasminder Bhandal of Victoria refuses to give up the fight to keep his frail and ill “mother” in Canada.

The latest bid by Surjit Bhandal, 83, to stay in the country was turned down at a “pre-removal” conference in Victoria on Wednesday.

Although Surjit is his aunt, Jasminder calls her his “mother” because she raised him and his two brothers in India when their biological mother couldn’t due to a disability. Surjit has lived with Jasminder since 2008.

The date of Surjit’s deportation is expected to come within the next two weeks, but Jasminder, who’s been fighting to keep her in the country on compassionate grounds for the past four years, hired a lawyer to ask the Canadian Border Services Agency for more time and a judicial review.

According to Jasminder, Surjit needs her nephews’ help in her day-to-day life. She suffers from arthritis and a diminishing memory.

If their latest request isn’t granted, Jasminder will be forced to leave behind his life in Canada, including his construction company.

“We don’t have (family) back over (in India),” Bhandal told Vancouver Desi. “So I have to stay with her.

“If she has to go, I have to stop my business and go with her.”

Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca MP Randall Garrison has been supporting the Bhandals’ battle for nearly a year and by Wednesday’s pre-removal conference about 5,000 letters calling for compassion had been sent to Immigration Minister Jason Kenney.

“I’m disappointed that the Immigration Minister didn’t act,” said Garrison. “The failure to recognize Surjit Bhandal as a family member, I think, is a mistake in law.”

“It’s a failure to recognize both diversity and extended families and the specific circumstances of this family.”
He believes Surjit’s “very serious health concerns” are reason enough to qualify for sponsorship.

“This is a very frail and elderly woman who needs not just the physical support of her family but the emotional support of her family at this point in her life,” he said. “The family has paid all of her expenses the whole time she’s been here and they will continue to do so … there is no way that she will be a burden on the Canadian taxpayer.”

Garrison is committed to the Bhandals’ cause and said he’ll do everything he can “to get the government to do the right thing here.”

“We meet all the requirements — I don’t know why the government is too tough,” said Jasminder.


Tags: , , , , , ,





Featured

Little India

Death of a neighbourhood? Little India’s Punjabi Market struggles to survive

GORDON MCINTYRE VANCOUVER DESI When Simran and Hardeep Virk met 20 years ago at Langara College, they’d go to All India Sweets & Restaurant for…
Continue Reading »

New Westminster BC crime

Surrey teen Serena Vermeersch’s murder has neighbourhood on edge

JOHN COLEBOURN AND CHERYL CHAN VANCOUVER DESI Homicide investigators are searching for the driver of a pickup truck spotted in the area where a 17-year-old…
Continue Reading »

Vancouver versus United States

Vancouver Lions to take on Royal Kings USA, Lahore Lions in World Kabaddi League matches this weekend

VANCOUVER DESI The Vancouver Lions will take on Royal Kings USA and the Lahore Lions this weekend at the Surjeet Singh Stadium in Jalandhar in…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Little India

Death of a neighbourhood? Little India’s Punjabi Market struggles to survive

GORDON MCINTYRE VANCOUVER DESI When Simran and Hardeep Virk met 20 years ago at Langara College, they’d go to All India Sweets & Restaurant for…
Continue Reading »

New Westminster BC crime

Surrey teen Serena Vermeersch’s murder has neighbourhood on edge

JOHN COLEBOURN AND CHERYL CHAN VANCOUVER DESI Homicide investigators are searching for the driver of a pickup truck spotted in the area where a 17-year-old…
Continue Reading »

Vancouver versus United States

Vancouver Lions to take on Royal Kings USA, Lahore Lions in World Kabaddi League matches this weekend

VANCOUVER DESI The Vancouver Lions will take on Royal Kings USA and the Lahore Lions this weekend at the Surjeet Singh Stadium in Jalandhar in…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

COLD_MURDER_SENTENCE_20130410_210705138

Vancouver murder victim’s family relieved as judges reject killer’s appeal of conviction (w/ video)

KEITH FRASER VANCOUVER DESI The family and friends of murdered Vancouver teen Poonam Randhawa breathed a collective sigh of relief as the girl’s killer lost…
Continue Reading »

India weird news

Air India passenger finds half-eaten worm mixed in his breakfast on flight to Delhi

VANCOUVER DESI An Air India passenger in upper economy class was horrified when he noticed a half-eaten worm mixed in with his breakfast plate on…
Continue Reading »

deportation-Canada

Blatchford: Pakistani woman deserves a better life in this big, empty country

CHRISTIE BLATCHFORD POSTMEDIA NEWS When I saw the picture of a weeping Jamila Bibi in the Saskatoon StarPhoenix on Tuesday, I thought of only one…
Continue Reading »

politicians barred

Pakistani politicians barred from flight for turning up late (w/video)

IANS Islamabad – Two Pakistani politicians were barred from a flight for holding it up for over one-and-a-half hours, media reported Tuesday. Passengers of an…
Continue Reading »

Simian death-monkey god

Monkey gets Hindu cremation by Indian villagers to avoid misfortune

VANCOUVER DESI In a bizarre sequence of events, almost 200 youths shaved off their heads to ward off ‘ill omen’ brought on by the death…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Sunny Leone

Sunny Leone’s one night stand

VANCOUVER DESI Indo-Canadian porn star-turned-Bollywood actress Sunny Leone is all set to romance Rana Daggubati in her next film titled One Night Stand, according to…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

‘Bang Bang’ turned down ‘Bigg Boss’ offer?

IANS Mumbai – TV shows are considered an important platform to promote a film before its release, thanks to its wider reach. However, it seems…
Continue Reading »

Desi Sex

Gallery: Bollywood’s on-screen sex queens

VANCOUVER DESI When it comes to lighting fire on the silver screen, our Bollywood actresses don’t shy away from lovemaking scenes. But some are more…
Continue Reading »