Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Reaction to the Tamil boat: curious comparisons

By Seth Klein

If the 492 Tamil asylum-seekers who recently arrived by boat on BC’s shores are “queue-jumpers”, then I guess my parents were too. See, they came as Vietnam War draft dodgers from the US in 1967. Like a couple of the Tamil women just arrived, my mom was pregnant with me. My parents did not seek advance permission from the Canadian government to immigrate. They did not fill out any paperwork before arriving. And they could no more seek permission to leave from their home government than these Tamils could, for what they were doing was, as far as the US was concerned, illegal and would result in my father’s arrest.

Of course that’s the thing about being an asylum-seeker –– you don’t get into a queue. When you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go. Hell, my folks didn’t even know Montreal (where they landed) was a predominantly French-speaking city.

Read more and comments here.

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