This holiday season, please help one Ottawa couple who have been struggling for three years to be reunited with their now 4-year-old boy, Daksh Sood. Under the Harper government, Daksh, then aged 1, was barred from Canada because of a simple, honest paperwork error. The Canadian visa office in India has twice refused to handle the case for ridiculous reasons (including a suggestion that Daksh, at 4 years old, apply to come here as a skilled worker!) Media stories on the case are listed at the bottom of this email.
The new Liberal government has promised to make family reunification a priority. This case is as good a place to start as any. Depriving a young boy of his parents goes against the stated purposes of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Daksh's parents, Bhavna Bajaj and Aman Sood, are hoping for the kind of Christmas present that not even Santa Claus can deliver: a temporary resident permit (TRP) to be issued to Daksh no later than December 26. (Right now, Daksh's father, Aman, is in India until that date, and hoping that when he returns, Daksh will be with him.)
HOW YOU CAN HELP (ACTIONS TO TAKE BETWEEN NOW AND DECEMBER 24)
1. Sign and share on facebook and twitter the petition at https://www.change.org/p/allow-4-year-old-daksh-to-live-in-canada-with-his-parents-minister-mccallum-must-issue-immediate-temporary-resident-permit-to-reunite-family
2. Email Immigration Minister John McCallum and Parliamentary Secretary Arif Virani, as well as Prime Minister Trudeau at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com and cc firstname.lastname@example.org asking that they grant a temporary resident permit (TRP) for 4-year-old Daksh Sood no later than December 26. Explain that Daksh's father has been visiting this month, and is ready to bring him home. Explain why this is just the right thing to do.
3. Call Immigration Minister John McCallum's office at 613-996-3374 and Parliamentary Secrtary Arif Virani at 613-992-2936 and tell them that you are requesting that the Minister issue a special Christmas present: a temporary resident permit (TRP) for Daksh Sood. Please be polite as staff there are very nice. Please let us know at email@example.com what the reaction has been.
4. If you are in Ottawa, join Santa Claus and the elves on Tuesday, December 22 at 11:45 am at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's office at Elgin and Wellington as they deliver over 11,000 signatures on petitions calling for Daksh Sood to be brought to Canada.
I have known and worked with this hard-working Ottawa couple for a year, and can speak directly to the sadness and emptiness they carry with them: all of their dreams are based on a life together in Canada, and that dream will not be fulfilled until their son is reunited with them in Ottawa.
Thanks for your help!
The Rural Refugee Rights Network