Canadian priest allegedly scams immigrant workers

A priest in Alberta and his wife have been arrested on charges for bringing in dozens of immigrant workers for profit on false pretenses. The charges include one under the proceeds of crime section, deception or fraud under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and organizing entry to Canada by threat.

Immigrants ended up working for company at reduced wage

The workers ended up working at the priest’s company in Alberta for little money, resulting in their boss earning a $1 million profit in only six months. The workers were initially brought in on student visas from Poland.

It wasn’t until the immigrants hired an immigration lawyer that they realized it was a scam. Now they are discovering their entry visas weren’t as they thought they were and they don’t have jobs or any concept of their status in Canada. Some have left Canada already and some are still wondering if they can stay.

Charges for fraudster, but what happens to the immigrants who are stuck?

While Canadians who defraud the immigration system may be caught and face fines or jail time, there is really little help available for the immigrants who get caught up in these scams through no fault of their own – especially when they thought they were doing everything legitimately in the first place.

This case also goes to show that some people cannot be trusted, no matter what titles they hold. If these immigrants had spoken to an immigration lawyer much sooner, they would have been made aware of how they should be treated by an employer and the options available to them.

Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

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