Asad Ali Afghan and his family fled Afghanistan for Pakistan in November 2021, after he served as an Afghan military interpreter. After nine months of waiting for the federal government to push through the paperwork, they arrived in Winnipeg and settled in Delta, B.C. a month later. However, three siblings of Asad remain in Afghanistan, as Canadian authorities never assigned case files to them. The brothers and sister were hoping to come to Canada under a special immigration program designed for former employees of the Canadian government or military in Afghanistan and their families.

When they arrived in Pakistan, they had no way to prove they were on their way to Canada, and were soon deported back to Afghanistan. They are now living in fear of the Taliban, who have been known to arrest, torture, flog and murder those who have helped foreign militaries. Meanwhile, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has received applications for most of the 18,000 spots in the Special Immigration Measures program, and have sent out invitations to apply for the remaining spots.

Both the NDP and Conservative immigration critics have heard of other Afghans hoping to come to Canada who have been sent back to Afghanistan, and the NDP is calling on the Canadian government to lift the 40,000 cap on the number of Afghans it wants to bring here. The IRCC says 28,285 Afghans have arrived in Canada since August 2021, and the Conservative counterpart is urging the government to use its soft power and process the applications quickly.

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By hassani

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