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Exclusion orders issued to Amigos

Date

2011-03-16

Authors

Carol Sandres

Abstract

Their employer in Thompson was the alleged criminal but the three Filipino foreign workers hired to work at the gas station may soon pay the price.
An Immigration and Refugee Board adjudicator Tuesday ruled against the men dubbed the Three Amigos, issuing exclusion orders for them to leave Canada.

Newspaper title

Winnipeg Free Press

Full text

Their employer in Thompson was the alleged criminal but the three Filipino foreign workers hired to work at the gas station may soon pay the price.
An Immigration and Refugee Board adjudicator Tuesday ruled against the men dubbed the Three Amigos, issuing exclusion orders for them to leave Canada.
They were initially caught red-handed -- pumping gas, serving customers and cleaning windows at a gas bar in Thompson.
Court heard Tuesday criminal investigators with the Canada Border Services Agency last spring were conducting surveillance -- not of the family men making $10 an hour, but their employer for hiring foreign nationals without the proper paperwork and permits and misrepresenting information.
The trio, Ermie Zotomayor, Antonio Laroya and Arnisito Gaviola, didn't know their boss was under investigation or that he was later charged in September. That case is still before the courts and the employer has not yet entered a plea.
The workers, who came to Canada in 2007 and worked in Alberta, believed their new boss in Thompson had applied for the proper paperwork and was just waiting for a labour-market opinion and work permit as their previous two employers had.
"Employers want people right away," their lawyer David Matas told the court. "There was no attempt to violate the law. They started work with their employer and were waiting for it."
The criminal investigators didn't go after the Three Amigos, saying they believed it wasn't in the public interest. They couldn't tell the Filipino workers about their boss because it could jeopardize the investigation, one investigator testified in court in Winnipeg Tuesday. Instead, they notified another branch of the border services agency, he said.
It decided to go after the three men who were arrested in June in Thompson. They haven't been able to work since. They were waiting for their day in court and hoping their application for temporary resident status would be approved in the meantime.
The adjudicator for the Immigration and Refugee Board said it's up to foreign nationals to follow the rules, not their former employer.
Now, lawyer Matas is asking the federal government to use its discretion and delay their exclusion order, process their application for residency and let them get back to work with jobs in under-serviced areas that they currently have lined up.
If they're ordered to leave Canada, they have to wait one year before applying to return. They want to access Manitoba's provincial nominee program, which lets foreign workers apply for permanent resident status after they've worked here for six months.

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Economic sectors

Other

Content types

Policy analysis and Documented cases of abuse

Target groups

Public awareness

Geographical focuses

Alberta and Manitoba

Languages

English