RealNews

Pakistanis flocking to Canada

Illegal immigrants attempt to avoid deportation by U.S. Raza Kibriya was like any red-blooded working-class American, holding down a job as a construction worker, spending his spare cash on electronics and cruising the streets of small-town Delaware in his brand-new Honda Civic. But Mr. Kibriya was not an American, as fervently as he wished he was. Landing on the shores of the United States from his native Pakistan five years ago with a three-month visitor’s visa in his passport, he wasone of an estimated seven million people living as illegal immigrants who remain incognito in U.S. society. “In my mind, I was not going to go back,” siad Mr. Kibriya, a wiry 31-year-old with thinning hair. “I knew that America is a free country, and nobody throws anybody out.” While he yearned to become a full-fledged American, it never seemed to matter that he was in the country illegally. Within two years, he owned a car. But his love affair with American life ground to a halt after the Sept. 11 attacks, and the growing suspicion of people from Muslim countries that has taken hold. When the U.S. government announced in December that all men 16 years of age who are visitors to the United States and hail from a list of Arab and South Asian countries must register with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (renamed and folded under the umbrella of the Department of Homeland Security), Mr. Kibriya was one of thousands of illegal immigrants — almost all Pakistani — who packed their belongings and fled to the Canadian border to launch refugee claims. Full Story

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