That's talking

Can you imagine being a six year old boy in the middle of rural Congo being handed a cell phone and being asked to talk to your father on it?  


That is what Massa and his son Joseph were doing via my phone at 5:30 am our time.  Massa said his son did not quite understand the phone.  He could tell the people there what he heard but talking back was a bit beyond him.  But Massa talked to the boy’s mother and she is in agreement that it is best for Joseph to join Massa and has signed all the necessary papers transferring custody to him.  If Canadian immigration has any heart at all, Joseph should be joining Massa within the year.


It is impossible to do things like this without Jacques’ help.  What a wonderful man he is – to travel to Karawa, find the mother and son, make this phone call, take care of the paperwork, and all this in the wake of his own disappointment.  He has been denied a visa to visit his own children in Canada.  Jacques hasn’t seen Christian for about 4 years, Patrick went out to visit him a year ago.  But Canadian immigration deems Jacques a risk to come and visit his sons at Christmastime.  To imagine that he would want to stay here in this snow?  What is worse is that he travels often to the states and is granted visas without problem.  


The Canadian immigration system treats everyone as if they are asylum seekers.  There is a huge problem here.

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0 responses to “That's talking

  1. it is hard, I guess, for systems to see the humanity behind the numbers. blah.

  2. It’s hard to imagine that people wouldn’t want to stay – after all, Massa is there isn’t he?

    There is a very difficult balance to strike on immigration, and compared to our version, I’m almost inclined to believe the Canadian system is right. If one, then why not let everyone in? And if you let everyone in then what has happened to your country, social structure, culture etc etc. From conversations I’m having, illegal immigration from Mexico is having a significant impact on the US. Whether that’s good or bad is up for debate, but it is definitely causing pain.

    And the flip side is the impact it has on the country everyone wants to leave. I have good friends that are currently in Poland. Britain is currently THE place for skilled Polish workers to be. As a result the Polish infrastructure is crumbling: then have too few doctors, nurses, plumbers, mechanics, builders etc etc. If a country is already struggling, permitting free immigration will only speed decline.

    I’m not opposed to people living where they choose, but the choice isn’t as uncomplicated as that.

  3. Linea


    Not investigating cases better also has its problems. I think that Jacques’ record of returning to the Congo after visiting the US should be taken into consideration when deciding if he is a risk to illegally stay in Canada.

    Illegal entry into Canada has become the favoured method for obtaining refugee status. Taking the legal route takes so long – about 8 years for the two refugees with us – that many people try to jump the queue by getting to Canada and then starting the refugee process.

    Jacques Kongawi’s boys (Patrick and Christian) did not come as refugees but legally as students. They would have remained here on student visas. They just happened to be caught in a situation where it became impossible for them to return to the Congo. They were at high risk, their parents home destroyed, parents hiding in the bush, teenage boys liable to be inducted against their will into one army or another, one of their best friends tortured as a spy because he was of mixed race, etc. Their application for refugee status was as justifiable as anyones, more than many.

    So now they are becoming Canadians but unlike a Canadian from Europe, they can not invite their parent to come for a visit. If you had been from the Congo, in spite of a good job and no intentions to stay, you would not have been able to visit us last summer. It just seems too biased according to country of origin. I know that is just the way the world is but it is not a just system.