Thursday, October 18, 2007
Another slap on the face to Xenophobics, Extremists, Conservatives, Pathetic and Racists stating that Middle Eastern were assimilating to Mexican Language and Culture to change their names to enter thru the Southern Border as an Undocumented Immigrants.
Sikh name-change letter 'poorly worded': Immigration Canada.
An Immigration Canada letter that said people with the common Sikh surnames Singh or Kaur have to change their last names before coming to Canada was "poorly worded" and is not government policy, a spokeswoman from the department says.
"Permanent resident applicants with the surnames Singh or Kaur are not required to change their names in order to apply," Karen Shadd-Evelyn, a spokeswoman with Citizenship and Immigration Canada, said in an e-mail to CBC News Wednesday.
"In no way did CIC intend to ask applicants to change their names. The letter that was previously used to communicate with clients was poorly worded. We are making changes to ensure there will be no misunderstandings in the future."
The controversy erupted after Tarvinder Kaur, waiting for her husband Jaspal Singh to arrive in Canada, learned his application to become a permanent resident had been delayed for well over a month because of his last name.
A letter from the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi to Singh's family stated that "the names Kaur and Singh do not qualify for the purpose of immigration to Canada."
Distressed because she was expecting a baby and wanted her husband with her in Canada for the birth, Kaur spoke to CBC News about the situation.
When CBC News first asked about the letter, immigration officials said the policy to ask for a third name was put in place 10 years ago to help officials identify people's files quickly, efficiently and accurately.
Singh and Kaur are common names in the Sikh community. In a tradition that began more than 300 years ago, the name Singh is given to every baptized male and Kaur to every baptized female Sikh. There are millions of Singhs and Kaurs around the world.
On Wednesday, Shadd-Evelyn acknowledged to CBC News that the government does ask applicants to provide a surname in addition to Singh or Kaur "to improve client service and reduce incidents of mistaken identity."
But she added: "This was not a mandatory requirement. There is no policy or practice whereby people with these surnames are asked to change their names.
"CIC recognizes that previous communications with clients may not have been clear on this issue and regrets any inconvenience this may have caused," Shadd-Evelyn said