Constituent Letters: King Family Says Thanks
February 10th, 2010 - 3:55am
Our story is a difficult one to understand, even to us.
What happened to us only happens to other people, well on August 8th 2008 we became one of those "others".
We visited the U.S. to be with family, about a month into our visit we decided we didn't want to go back to Australia. We were going to make a fresh start in America.
I hired a supposed immigration lawyer who told us what we had to do to stay in the United States. We filled out forms. We paid the lawyer. I registered a security business, I bought uniforms and equipment for the business, cars and property. We had to leave the U.S. to come to Canada because our visas were about to expire. We were told because I was Canadian by birth, it would be a simpler and faster process to renew our visas if we visited here and just renewed our visas at the Canada-U.S. Border when we returned to the U.S .
After visiting around Ontario, we stopped in for a visit in London on our way to return to the United States, only to have Customs and Border Services tell us that everything we had done, on the direction of this immigration lawyer, was illegal and that we could not re-enter America.
We were stranded. We couldn't go back to the U.S. and we certainly didn't have the money to fly back to Australia. We had already invested everything we had in what we thought would be lives in America.
We had 2 days worth of clothing, a 2 year old and a 4 year old, and a teenager. We were told to go to Compass Community Church on Pond Mills Rd where they helped us as much as they could, and we greatly appreciated it. But we were surviving on handouts. We were in shock. How did this happen?
At a loss for what to do I started contacting area Members of Parliament. The only person who offered any assistance was the office of Irene Mathyssen. Not only have they been instrumental in getting us assistance, but by their continued support (through phone calls and one on one visits) they have given us our hope and dignity back.
Our ongoing situation is still difficult at times, but we are encouraged by the support of our friends at Irene's office (Irene herself, Shawn, Sarah and all the staff) and the NDP as a whole, and because of their help things are looking up and we have decided to make Canada home.
Thank You can't even come close.
Jeff and Karen King
Emily, David and Erin.