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“Canadian System Fair” Says Jaishankar on Indian Students Facing Deportation

Around 700 Indian students, mostly from Punjab, have received deportation letters from Canadian authorities.

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South Asians
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In a media briefing on Thursday, 8 June, India's External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar assured that the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and the high commission are working to address the issue of 700 Indian students facing deportation from Canada due to fake admission offers.

He maintained that the Canadian system was fair and that the culpable parties responsible for producing fraudulent documents must be punished.

"From the very start, the MEA and the high commission have taken up their case. The culpable parties should be punished. The latest report is that Canadians accept that it would be unfair if the student has done no wrong, they accept the idea that they have to find a solution to it. I feel the Canadian system is fair in that regard."
S Jaishankar

Jaishankar's statement came after Punjab's NRI Affairs Minister Kuldip Singh Dhaliwal's appealed to the centre for intervention.

“These (700) students are innocent and have been cheated by the clique of fraudsters. I shall be highly grateful if you again look into the matter personally and take up the matter with concerned agencies including High Commission of Canada and government of Canada so that these students can be saved from being deported,” wrote Dhaliwal in his letter to the EAM.

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Hundreds of Indian students took to the streets to protest in Canada in the light of possible deportation after alleged admission to Canadian universities and colleges on “fake offer letters.” The students, mostly from Punjab, claim that travel agents in India have caused this racket. The students have been protesting since 29 May at the Airport Road of Mississauga, Ontario, outside the head office of the Canadian Border Security Agency (CBSA).

As many as 700 Indian students have received deportation letters from the Canadian Border Services Agency after their admission offer letters to educational institutions were found to be fake. 

Chamandeep Singh told NDTV that he received the deportation letter 3-4 years after completing his course at a Canadian educational institution.

"When we arrived in Canada our agent told us that the seats were full in the colleges which we had received admission letters for. He told us that universities were overbooking so he can transfer us to another college. Since we did not want to lose a year, we agreed."
Chamandeep Singh in an interview with NDTV
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A protesting student Lovepreet Singh told NDTV that 700 is just an estimate, and that the situation is taking a mental and financial toll on the students.

"We are innocent and have been scammed. Our lives are at stake, many are even suicidal due to this. 700 is an estimate, the real number of affected students is higher as many are suffering in silence and not coming forward. I got a deportation notice for June 30. We put our lives' savings to come to Canada and now we have been asked to go back."
Lovepreet Singh in an interview with NDTV

When the issue was brought up in the Canadian Parliament, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that they were "deeply aware" of the situation of international students.

"Our focus is on identifying the culprits, not penalising the victims. Victims of this fraud will have an opportunity to demonstrate and present evidence for their case. We recognise the immense contributions that the international students bring to our country."
Canadian PM Justin Trudeau

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