Unfortunately, there is the tragic part of the Canadian visa story. And it's not all the trouble this refusal caused us, all the running around I had to do, the stress I suffered with a baby in my belly. It's the unfairness of the logic behind the refusal.
So what if a person doesn't have any assets? Economic racism is one of the worst of our times, it is taken so much for granted that it goes unnoticed. As if the position of the poor is not bad enough as it is, they need a discrimination. Only the rich, only the people with means are allowed to move around.
So what if someone's prospect of employment is low where s/he is residing. What is more “normal”, more natural than a person wanting to move to a place where her/his employment prospects will be higher? Isn't the “pursuit of happiness” one of the pillars of the Declaration of Independence of the U.S.A.? And isn't this a universal basic right? If it is not, why not?
And what has weak family ties got to do with anyone wanting to travel?
I'll tell you two real immigration stories. A family reunion was rejected by the UK immigration authorities on the grounds that the couple were close relatives, concluding that the marriage was fake in order to get residence in the country. Yet, the same UK authorities rejected another family reunion on the opposite grounds that the couple had no relation to each other! Because in Afghanistan/Pakistan it is customary to marry among relatives. Conclusion being that the marriage was a fake. I have no comments. I leave that up to you.
And finally... If you block people from travelling like this, how do you expect them to have a travel history?? There has to be a first in a person's history. You cannot deny them that first right. (And I wonder, what if a person has a long travel history in countries you don't like?... What about your travel history then? Does it work for you or against you?)
The Economist, in the September 12th issue, was arguing on behalf of immigrants saying that people see them as an economic burden but it is not so true. That somebody needs to pay for the retirement of the elderly and to provide for the services its citizens are not willing to do. “Migrants are net contributors to the public purse,” they wrote. Sorry but that is a very bad point of view! Seeing people as things to be used. Regarding them -just like slaves two hundreds years ago- not as human beings, with rigths to improve their life, but as pure workforce to be used to somebody else's end. Maybe the Economist cannot say openly what I am saying. I am aware, it is a huge risk to losing your prestige and followers. My opinions are unpopular. But I am convinced that they need to be expressed. The more people who express them, the better.
The only positive argument economists make for removal of visas on economic grounds is that if there is no blockage of movement, people may freely go back to their own countries or any other place to try their chances. But like this, once migrants make it to someplace, even if they are not satisfied with the conditions, they cannot go back. And no, I'm not talking about refugees wanting to move to a third country even after they've reached safety. That is only natural too. What I mean is not being able to give up something you have paid a dear price for. (Something you have invested all your belongings and even made debts to be repaied with hard work.) I bet it is like my experience at Bogazici University, the hardest, the most prestigious school to get into. People hear about a country, the high life standards there etc. they have high regards for it. They want to make it there. They personally may be disappointed once they make it. But it's very hard to accept it's not what you wanted and quit, as I did. It is just the same with investing all you had – and more – to emigrate to a country you don't feel staying once there. You cannot accept this and go back when so many people are looking up to you, because you are living there. They envy you, they want to be in your position. Most people do not do what I did. You do not give up something valued by society in general. It is hard taking in the criticism, enduring the social pressure.
Why do I see the world as mad?
It's okay if you move from Samsun to Istanbul, but it's not okay if you move from Damascus to Istanbul. It's okay if the British move to Italy, to Australia, to Africa, to almost anywhere they wish, they may even do so as a whole country, but it's not okay if the Bangladeshi, the Senegalese move to Britain.
Fourteen years ago, when I was doing my first round-the-world tour with three Americans, they were so excited to find out that a Mc Donalds opened up in Addisababa. They literally ran there.
What is Mc Donalds doing in Africa? (Could it be “Money”? Could it be that an economic giant wanting to “Improve its economic prospects” that is already high?... Does this sound familiar?) And talk about invasion of cultures! If Mc Donalds is there, why shouldn't anybody be anywhere?