Clinics campaign against proposed immigration regulations

Friday, July 5, 2013

The Metro Toronto Chinese & Southeast Asian Legal Clinic and the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario are part of a coalition of community agencies campaigning against the passing of new immigration regulations that the clinics say will result in family separation.

The new regulations, which are scheduled to take effect January 2014, will:

  • limit the sponsorship of dependent children to those under the age of 19
  • increase the income requirement of sponsorship to 30 per cent above the Low Income Cut Off
  • double the sponsorship period to 20 years
  • impose a cap of 5,000 family sponsorship applications to be processed in 2014

“These changes will be particularly detrimental to refugees, since many of them flee their home country while their older siblings stay behind to play the role of surrogate parents to their younger siblings,” says Shalini Konanur, executive director of the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario. “Leaving the older siblings behind when the family is finally reunited in Canada would represent yet another brutal separation for a family that has already been kept apart for many years.”

The coalition will be organizing a campaign, which, over the next several months will:

  • collect stories of Canadians who have come to Canada as immigrants and refugees to talk about the importance of families in their lives in Canada
  • conduct research on the contributions of parents, grandparents and other extended family members as well as the impact of the proposed changes on Canadian society
  • lobby local MPs

The coalition is also urging people to participate in Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s consultation on immigration levels planning. More information on the consultation can be found on their website:


For more information about the campaign, please contact:

Avvy Go, Executive Director
Metro Toronto Chinese & Southeast Asian Legal Clinic
(416) 971-9674 or

Shalini Konanur, Executive Director
Southeast Asian Legal Clinic
(416) 487-6371 ext. 40 or