An international student from Punjab, India, Jobandeep Singh Sandhu, who is student and worked as a truck driver, was arrested and could be deported soon for “working too hard,” claims his lawyers.
While describing the moment of his arrest, Sandhu said, “I was totally broken.”
While driving a commercial vehicle between Montreal and Toronto on 13 December 2017, Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer pulled over 22-year-old Sandhu at the side of King’s Highway 401 for a “routine traffic stop,” said a report.
A few moments later, Sandhu was arrested, handcuffed, and put in the back seat of an Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) squad car. During his arrest, Sandhu had no criminal history, as per police background check.
That day, Sandhu’s driver logbook revealed that his maximum numbers of hours to work each week exceeded as an international student in Canada.
Sandhu said that he never lied, didn’t rob, and didn’t kill anybody. “My only crime is that I was working,” he said.
Working full time was the only way he could afford to stay in school, said Sandhu.
According to current working rules for international students in Canada, student can work for up to 20 hours per week “off campus” without work permit visa.
Foreign students, during scheduled breaks including summers, are allowed to work full time.
The high cost of tuition fee, nearly double for international student, plus the cost of living – meant that Sandhu had to work more in order to stay in school.
Regretting what he has done, Sandhu insisted that the only way he could remain in school was to work full time.
Sandhu said, “I don’t think it’s a big crime…From the beginning, I admitted that I was working full time.”
Pointing to the fact that he has completed his school and has a full time job in an industry, which is currently experiencing shortage of employment in Ontario; Sandhu gave this as a reason to allow him stay in the country.
Currently, Sandhu has applied for a temporary resident permit to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). He’ll be allowed to stay if accepted. And if not, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) him told that he must go back to India before May 31.