Another local example has highlighted the complexities, and perhaps flaws in Canadian immigration policies. Elizabeth Adler is separated from her husband Kris Truswell, their daughter Izabella and the home they’ve shared for nearly a decade, due to an issue with Immigration she said she’s done everything to avoid.
Adler moved to Kimberley in September, 2005 and first met Truswell in 2008. He proposed to her in the Spring of 2009, they were married on September 9, 2009 and closed the deal on the house they live in together on September 24, 2009. Isabella was born on November 29, 2009.
In May of 2016 Adler applied for Canadian Permanent Residency and submitted all required paperwork, medical exam, FBI background checks and renewed passport information to Immigration by December, 2016. The following month she received an email stating that she was required to provide further evidence that she had been living with her sponsor, her husband.
She then provided a lengthy letter, photos of every room in her house, photocopies of bills with both their names on them and a copy of their home owner property tax bill from that year from the City of Kimberley. She said that at that time she was also making weekly phone calls to the border with her name, address and phone number as requested.
“I hadn’t heard anything back from Immigration after that and wrote to them in both April and July of 2017, requesting that my work permit be processed ASAP as our family could use a secondary income,” she said in an email interview with the Townsman.
On Tuesday, November 7 2017 a border agent informed her over the phone that her application for residency had been denied in September, but she said she never received any communication to that nature whatsoever.
“Since my application had apparently been denied on September 11, 2017, the 30-day time limit for appeal had already passed and I had no recourse to appeal their decision.”
Additionally, she was told that she had been sent an email in May requesting further proof that she was residing with Truswell. She said that she received neither letter, but was told there was an immediate order for her removal from Canada.
She responded to the email asking if she could extend her stay in Canada until January 4, 2018 so that she could be home for their daughter’s eighth birthday, Christmas, New Years and her husband’s forty-third birthday, and she was granted the extension.
She then left Canada through the Kingsgate border crossing on January 4 and made a four day trip to her parents’ home in Santa Barbara, CA. She is staying with them while she reapplies for Canadian Permanent Residency under the Family Sponsorship category and also appealing her case through the Humanitarian and Compassionate Act.
She said that these events have had a devastating impact on her, her husband and their eight-year-old daughter.
“Myself and my husband have been suffering not only an immense amount of grief over being separated for such a ridiculous reason, but it has caused us enormous stress and anxiety,” she said.
She added that has become impossible for them to have any joy in their conversations because they now solely revolve around organizing the logistics of keeping their daughter’s life as normal as possible.
“We both cry alone and take turns doing our best to boost each others spirits in an attempt to stay positive that everything will work out for us and we will be together again soon. But it is hard to push through every day feeling numb and empty, sad and hurt, scared and anxious – wondering if there is any hope for my return sooner than my 12 month removal order.”
They have had to ask for assistance from both of their parents in order to help cover the costs of paying for the new application, medical exam, passport photo, FBI background check, as well as the financial stress of Truswell having to be a single parent for the time being.
“My eight-year-old daughter shouldn’t be crying every night because her Mama can’t be there for her. My husband shouldn’t be under the extreme stress that he is because I’m not there to help be a part of our household and family. My friends shouldn’t be having to help fill the gap that I have left in my daughter and husbands lives.”
Adler just wants to come home and believes she does not deserve to lose the privilege of living here.
“If I had actually received the letter they claim to have sent me on May 2, 2017, I would have responded immediately to fight my case and make sure that none of this happened. Because they have zero checks and balances to insure that the letter is received, and I had zero idea that they were trying to contact me, and my communications to them went unanswered, they chose to deny my application and have me removed.”