When The System Fails You

Stories from Quebeckiztan.

A girl I used to work with was deported last week. It fucking sucked.

She was sent back to Vietnam in spite of following the entire process step by step. Quebec, in its infinite racism and ludicrous fear of anything not sounding like French, went against its own process to target people like her. Specifically, people who tried to clear the French language requirement via a language school – a school which, by the way, was reviewed and certified by the government. Do you see where the issue is?

As it happens, the government argued that her French was not up to Quebec standards. A claim that is highly ironic since anyone who actually speaks French knows Quebec French is an abomination. It’s not just horrible for those who listen to it, it’s also just plain and simply wrong.

But why were her language skills not good? She completed the full 12 levels mandated by the school as well as any test they gave her to move her to the next level. Clearly, the school thought she was proficient enough to finish the program, so why did the government target her? I have some questions:

Why did the school move her through the program if her language skills were not up to the desired standard?

If the schools are not teaching immigrants enough French, how did they even acquire the government certification?

If completing the school program means the French requirement is automatically cleared, why is the Quebec government interviewing people who go through these courses?

And a 4th question straight from a conspiracy theory book: is the Quebec government setting this people up for failure on purpose? As in, to curb immigration?

This sounds wacky, but I wouldn’t put the conservative government – creator of discriminatory laws like Law 21 – above it.

While our company extended her work visa for her to remain in the country, my friend spent thousands of dollars on immigration lawyers, French classes, and French examinations to be accepted as a resident of Quebec. Money that she shouldn’t have spent in the first place if the language school had done its job correctly. After one year and a half of this completely arbitrary ordeal, she got her Quebec acceptance letter.

The only problem is that even if you are accepted by Quebec, you still need authorization from the Federal government to work or study. Unfortunately while she tried to overcome the unnecessary barriers that Quebec built around her case, she reached the limit of times she could get a visa. When she was finally accepted by Quebec, she found out she could not study or work or do anything other than live here.

So she had to go back.

She had to go back because the government gave her no other choice. They wouldn’t allow her to work or study without a visa. She could not spend an indefinite amount of time with no income source, not when she had a rent and student debts to pay.

She had to leave Canada and move back to Vietnam. She left behind a promising career at an A-level company, a three-year-long relationship, and a life she worked hard to build for more than five years. All because the government suddenly decided that their process was not good enough and cracked down on the institutions that they put in place.

I’ve said it once and I will say it as many times as needed: Fuck Quebec.

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