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Home > News > Report

INS harasses Indo-Canadian woman

Ajit Jain in Toronto | February 15, 2003 03:40 IST

Member of Parliament Gurbax Malhi calls it highhandedness on the part of immigration officers at the Chicago airport to detain an Indo-Canadian woman, who wanted to take a connecting flight to Toronto, on flimsy charges on January 27.

An Immigration and Naturalisation Services officer, who was at the arrival counter, called Berna Cruz's passport photo 'funky' and took her to a separate room for questioning by a group of officials.

She was asked how she could have a Latin name. The officers were not convinced when Cruz, who was born in Thiruvananthapuram, told them that her family is from Goa, where such names are common.

Cruz, who was coming from India, was then told that she would either be jailed orsent backto where she came from.

She reportedly started crying, telling the INS officers not to send her to jail. They then put her on a Kuwait Airlines flight bound for Kuwait via London.

Malhi says the sad part is they didn't even allow her to call Canadian diplomats.

They could have kept her at the airport and in the meantime investigated the veracity of her passport from the Canadian consulate, Malhi says.

Luckily, the Kuwait Airlines captain helped Cruz get in touch with Canadian diplomats in Dubai.

They reportedly issued her an emergency passport, as the INS officers had torn the first page of the original and stamped 'expedited removal' on the rest of the pages.

Even her Indian visa was defaced.

Malhi says he will meet Canadian Foreign Affairs minister Bill Graham and lodge a complaint.

Cruz has already lodged a complaint with Prime Minister Jean Chretien.

Foreign Affairs spokesman Renald Doiron was quoted as saying: "We're going to bring her case to the attention of the state department in Washington and request an explanation on the INS refusal to grant at least one phone call to Ms Cruz..."

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Number of User Comments: 5

Sub: Doomed

history & common sense, stand proof that whenever u start looking down upon ppl, ur end is near. This high-handedness (even i've experienced it) if ...

Posted by moulik

Sub: regarding harrasment to indo-canadian woman

dear readers...indian government should do the same when an indo-american comes to india...and ask them how they acquired their passport or what soever..and dont allow ...

Posted by kishan

Sub: ruthless americans

americans are the biggest terrorists they bomb the qentire world but are scared like hell soon they will find entire world up in arms against ...

Posted by rajiv

Sub: Amarnath

Americans nowadays started suspecting everyone for everything.Just wait and see in short time the entire world is going to be against this US rouges. what ...

Posted by Amarnath

Sub: the rest of the world is so

Hucom the rest of the world is so ignorant about the fact that Parts of india hve been colonised by almost all european powers at ...

Posted by jap



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