Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Visas

Two days ago I found out that Canada is now asking for all Mexican citizens, that wish to visit it, to apply for a visa. Previously we only needed to show our passport (valid) and we got a stamp. I do not disagree with Canada's new policy. However, apparently the announcement came with only a 2-day warning and, on top of that, the application can only be processed in Mexico City and the applicant has to be present because it includes a medical examination. So, this new policy affected hundreds of people that had their summer vacations already booked.

The reasoning behind this decision is that a lot of Mexicans are asking for political asylum in Canada. I can see that people from states with political conflicts or drug-war (that is most of the country, unfortunately), could ask for asylum. But, as usual, a lot of people try to abuse the system. The Canadian government supports people that ask for asylum, so unscrupulous people ask for it under false pretenses and enjoy a payed vacation while their case is being looked into. That situation has cost a lot of money that comes from people's taxes. Also, a lot of people go to Canada to study english and work there illegally, sometimes for a long period of time. Asking for a visa to enter the country will be part of the solution to all of this. But, a short notice and the complication of having to travel to Mexico City will seriously affect anyone that wants to travel to the maple tree country.

While the Croatian government reacted badly to this new rule, with its ambassador calling on the Canadian government and asking to immediately revoke their decision, the Mexican government decided to ask for visas to all Canadian diplomats. Big deal! How is that going to help? We should ask for visas from all Canadians as well. Even if they are for free. Most countries are now securing their borders. When is Mexico going to do the same?

Mexico is a paradise for foreigners that want to disappear from their countries. I'm all for giving people asylum when there is a real threat for them to return to their countries. There is a big Cuban population in Mexico, for example. But, a lot of the foreigners that stay in the country are criminals that get away and live happily in Mexico because no-one does a background check on them. How many children have been kidnapped by a parent and ended up living with them in Mexico? How many ETA members have been (with high difficulties) tracked down to Mexico? I think it is time for my country to have more control over the people that visit it and not just make them file a form that is not even captured into a computer.

1 comment:

  1. I can see their point but I am sorry so many people had trouble. Two days notice does not
    seem fair at all.

    ReplyDelete