Liberal cabinet minister is still waiting for the government to update her documents
More than a year after Maryam Monsef’s place of birth was revealed to be Iran, and not Afghanistan as originally reported, the Minister is awaiting the changes to her paperwork like any other Canadian.
In September 2016, Maryam Monsef Liberal minister of Democratic Institutions, hailed by the Liberals as Canada’s first Afghan-born MP, was revealed to actually have born in Mashhad, Iran, a city about 200 kilometres away from the border with Afghanistan. She said her mother, who fled Afghanistan when Monsef was 11, didn’t think it mattered where the minister was born since she was still legally considered an Afghan citizen. By law, she was required to correct her birthplace information on her passport, and under the controversial bill C-24 that the previous Conservative government introduced, she could have had her citizenship revoked, and could even have faced deportation.
“There’s just nothing to tell.”Just like everybody else, I’m waiting my turn. I’m as Canadian as you are. The paperwork is done and when there is news, I will be sure to share it with you.”
As per the CBC, the Immigration Department would not comment specifically on her case, citing privacy reasons, but did outline the potential steps involved should someone need to correct their birthplace on their passport.
Monsef’s origin story raised eyebrows when it first emerged, in part because at the time, the Liberal government was still aggressively enforcing a Conservative law that could strip naturalized Canadian citizens of their status without a hearing, despite having campaigned against it. Misrepresentation remains grounds for being stripped of citizenship, but following the outcome of a Federal Court case earlier this year, the government brought in an appeals process that will come into effect in early 2018.