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Canada's a nice place to live.
September 1, 2006 12:27 PM   Subscribe

Canada's a nice place to live. At least I think so, anyways. And so do, apparently, about 150 delegates from the International AIDS Conference. They've decided that they'd rather stay here than go back to their homes, mostly in Africa, and are claiming refugee status in order to meet this goal. While it's understandable that some of these claims may be legitimate, and that the home countries might not have been as enticingly developed as Canada, it does seem that for some "delegates", their claims are not what they may seem.
posted by Kololo (28 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Out of all the issues and stories raised at the conference -- I was there, I covered it for a newspaper -- I'm thrilled you picked one of such pressing urgency and importance.
posted by docgonzo at 1:01 PM on September 1, 2006


So there are some people that are trying to scam the refugee system, and some that aren't. What's new exactly? Do you think the legitimate cases should not try and claim refugee status because they got here via a conference. It's true though that it will probably make it harder for people from Uganda and wherever else to get a normal visa now.
posted by chunking express at 1:07 PM on September 1, 2006


Seconding docgonzo. (My mom was there as a delegate)

Of the 14,000 delegates from outside of North America, 150 claimed refugee status. Whupdeedoo. Similar things happen after every Olympics, too.
posted by raedyn at 1:20 PM on September 1, 2006


Sunday Vision was present in one of the private coaching sessions where a Ugandan immigrant in his mid 30s gave participants some tips on what to expect from the immigration officers, what to say when asked certain questions and how to avoid contradicting oneself during an interview.

One woman, who had left a husband and two children back in Uganda, was coached to say that she had been repeatedly beaten by her husband after he discovered that she was a lesbian. “You tell them that he became so violent you had no choice, but to abandon the marriage. And if they ask you why you did not leave and seek help amongst your relatives, you tell them that you were scared because he had threatened to go to the Police and tell them that you were a lesbian,” counselled the coach.
posted by parmanparman at 1:34 PM on September 1, 2006


This isn't a post about the AIDS conference. This is a post about people scamming the refugee-claimant process. Sorry if you don't like that that overlaps with a more positive topic; the world is full of grey areas.
posted by Kololo at 1:35 PM on September 1, 2006


In any case, possible "economic refugees" aren't faring very well in North American courts. And being HIV + is no help. However, with the high profile nature of the cases and the relative ease with which I imagine the governments of the respective countries of the immigrants can recognize those who fled - I wouldn't want to be any of the 150 if they get sent back to their countries of origin.
posted by pwedza at 1:39 PM on September 1, 2006


In Uganda, homosexuality is illegal and is punishable by tlife imprisonment. However, court records show that no one has been given such a sentence.

The implication being that people who claim to be persecuted in Uganda are clearly lying to get into Canada? I mean, they couldn't actually be persecuted homosexuals, amirite? Our records show there aren't any!

“Such things give our country a bad reputation. And in future, we might find it difficult to secure visas to attend some of these conferences,” noted Dr. Sam Zaramba, the Director General of Health Services, who also headed the Ministry of Health’s delegation to the conference.

Yeahhhhno. I think the human rights violations are a little more damaging to your reputation. This reeks of spin.
posted by mek at 1:46 PM on September 1, 2006


This isn't a post about the AIDS conference. This is a post about people scamming the refugee-claimant process.

Bullshit.
posted by docgonzo at 1:56 PM on September 1, 2006


It's really too bad Kololo is the only person who can make an FPP. If only Metafilter were the kind of place where anyone with an account could post about the things they think are important and best of the web, we wouldn't have to bitch and moan about what she decided to post about. We could actually get up off our asses and post our damn selves!
posted by Hildegarde at 2:22 PM on September 1, 2006


How dare you not focus on my issues! What gives you the right to post about something YOU find interesting. Bah humbug!
posted by blue_beetle at 2:39 PM on September 1, 2006


So why wasn't the conference in Uganda?
posted by A189Nut at 3:08 PM on September 1, 2006


docgonzo: I was there, I covered it for a newspaper

So GYOFPP.
posted by ryanrs at 3:13 PM on September 1, 2006


Good post. You Canadians need to keep those lying damn darkies out, and make darn sure the rest of them know just how little their plights trouble you. So what if some or most of them have legitimate problems? Some of them might be telling untruths. Ship 'em all back where they came from! Drop-ship 'em and let God sort 'em out.

Stand up for your beliefs! Don't let these haters get you down.

Note: the preceding was sarcasm.
posted by Malor at 3:19 PM on September 1, 2006


And for you people telling Docgonzo to get his own blog..... if he DID do what you suggest and made another FPP, it would be deleted as a dupe.
posted by Malor at 3:21 PM on September 1, 2006


Canada is a nice place to live.
posted by Bearman at 3:30 PM on September 1, 2006


if he DID do what you suggest and made another FPP, it would be deleted as a dupe.

Right, because a post about the grandmothers of Africa who take in AIDS orphans would totally feel like the same post.
posted by Hildegarde at 3:32 PM on September 1, 2006


My gf used to run international conferences, and said that this happens all the time -- people apply with the most ludicrously forged credentials, and then go nuts about having their money instantly refunded when, as mostly happens, their visas are rejected.
posted by bonaldi at 3:55 PM on September 1, 2006


Of the 14,000 delegates from outside of North America, 150 claimed refugee status.

Oh mah gawt, one whole percent!

Seriously, who the hell cares?
posted by delmoi at 5:29 PM on September 1, 2006


GYOFPP

Knock yourself out.
posted by docgonzo at 5:42 PM on September 1, 2006


Knock yourself out.

Oh good, so you ARE entitled to shit in this thread. My bad, you go and enjoy yourself.
posted by Krrrlson at 5:48 PM on September 1, 2006


This was actually an issue and story raised at the conference, at least in coverage I heard and followed - when a number of conference invitees were not able to secure visitor visas to Canada, because of fears that they would make refugee claims once here.

So, yeah, it's interesting, maybe not to some of you, but why isn't it OK that someone found it interesting enough to blog? Weird.
posted by crammo at 5:59 PM on September 1, 2006


I learned something new. Thank you Kololo.
posted by Hicksu at 6:01 PM on September 1, 2006


I second Hildegarde.

The fact that the conference centres around grave issues doesn't make it wrong to make a post about a (much) smaller issue. And I don't think Kololo is implying that hosting the conference was a bad move for Canada or anything against the refugees/their home countries.
posted by bread-eater at 6:12 PM on September 1, 2006


I second bread-eater (those of you playing along at home can perhaps draw a graph of who is seconding who.)
posted by blacklite at 6:39 PM on September 1, 2006


I second that, blacklite.
posted by Hildegarde at 8:07 PM on September 1, 2006


I'm with blacklite, and, to a lesser extent, Hildegarde, because she made me use caps lock twice in a sentence.

Nice to see the Kneejerk Accusations of Racism Squad are still goin' strong, and that delmoi finally got around to replenishing that pile of stones he keeps on the stoop of his glass house.

Now that's sarcasm.

posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:16 PM on September 1, 2006


I liked the post too.

Some of the claims are silly; Ndyanabo, the guy from the last link, says that the Ugandan customs officer threatened him as he left. But to me, the alleged quote ("I wish you luck. But do not come back if they (security) let you through") is pretty obviously encouragement, not harassment.
posted by gsteff at 10:19 PM on September 1, 2006


Wow, I went away for the weekend to a place with no internet access, and was seriously wondering what had happened in this thread. I'd like to thank those of you who could see beyond the 'don't talk about things i don't want you to talk about' knee-jerkiness that dominated the beginning of this thread!
posted by Kololo at 6:17 AM on September 5, 2006


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