Recent Immigrant Feared for His Life After Call From Crooked Immigration Official

Former CIC official Barriero plead guilty to three counts of breach of public trust on July 3rd for asking immigration applicants for bribes. He was sentenced to 44 months in prison on September 20th.

An article in The Star recounts the experience of an applicant for permanent residence in Canada who was called by an immigration official who was recently convicted of breach of public trust.

George Gonsalves Barriero, who worked for Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) for a total of 12 years, was promoted to a senior position with the authority to approve applications or refer them for further risk assessments in 2005, and that is when a court found that he began asking permanent resident applicants in the hispanic community for bribes.

Sidnei Ramalho, who had applied for permanent residence on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, told The Star that he feared for his life when he received a call from the immigration official in charge of his case, Barriero, who told him he would come by Ramalho’s home to pick up the money Ramalho needed to pay to get a “good letter” from him: “I don’t know him, I don’t know what he’s capable of .. I was really afraid he could send some guy here to kill me.”

Mr. Ramalho told his immigration consultant about the incident who advised him to not communicate with Barriero and let the RCMP investigate. The altercation with Barriero has left him living in fear:

Since the ordeal, Ramalho has installed cameras in his apartment, extra locks on his door — which he keeps a steel bar behind — and doesn’t answer calls from phone numbers he doesn’t recognize.

Mr. Barriero was sentenced on September 20th to 44 months in prison on three counts of breach of public trust.