Punjab NRI Affairs Minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal on Thursday said the state government will provide free legal assistance to about 700 students facing deportation from Canada.
Presiding over a high-level meeting with civil and police officers associated with the NRI (non-resident Indian) Department at Punjab Bhawan, the minister said most of these students belong to Punjab. They will be provided lawyers who are experts in immigration laws in Canada.
Dhaliwal has also written a letter to all the Members of Parliament (MPs) of Punjab origin in Canada to resolve the issue of these students so that the future of the children can be secured.
Dhaliwal issued instructions to all deputy commissioners and district police chiefs to scrutinise the documents of travel agents and immigration agencies and send a report by 10 July. He expressed concern that many travel agents are running immigration agencies illegally.
The minister said Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has already given clear instructions to improve the system. He said if the system would be transparent and clean, then there will be less scope for human trafficking by illegal travel agencies.
He said a special campaign against fake travel agents and immigration agencies would soon be launched in Punjab so that no one could be involved in human trafficking.
Dhaliwal also said that in the last 10 years, if any Punjabi immigrant has been deliberately implicated in a wrong case, then it should be brought to their attention. Such cases will be investigated and justice will be given to the victim.
Taking an exclusive initiative, this time NRI meetings will be held for the first time in those villages of Punjab whose immigrants have done good work in their villages or earned the name at the national or international level. Dhaliwal informed that NRI meetings will be held at the district level from 15 July to 30 August. Dhaliwal said there is a plan to bring a new NRI policy by 30 September to resolve all kinds of problems and complaints of non-resident Punjabis.