Many roles for Immigration Officer

by Leslie Campbell
Northern News Services

NNSL (NOV 13/96) - For dangerous situations Maryse Caron has been trained to carry a gun, use a retractable baton and wear a bullet-proof vest.

Her job gives her the power to arrest or assist people, search and investigate foreign vessels or foreign passengers who fly from Greenland to Inuvik.

Caron is the only Citizenship and Immigration Officer for the Northwest Territories.

"Everything is a challenge and each situation is different. You always have to be prepared," she says.

Caron's job not only involves investigations and searches. She helps local employers find and fill out paperwork for non-Canadians they want to employ.

Caron informs immigrants of the language training program -- at the YWCA, and the settlement assistance program. These programs are some of the ways the Department of Immigration and Citizenship aids landed immigrants who move to the NWT.

Caron investigates situations involving people trying to work here illegally or foreign students who stay when their visa expired.

She's always in close contact with the three Customs Inspectors located in Yellowknife, Iqaluit and Inuvik.

Caron relies on them to inform her of any immigration problems with foreign passengers or crew members from foreign ships or aircraft.

She said she was intrigued with the legal side of immigration issues and began to take courses in Ottawa where she received training. She also attended a three-week training course in Regina, Sask.

She transferred permanently from the Department of Immigration in New Brunswick to Yellowknife two years ago.

Caron said her job has been made easier with all the help she receives from colleagues. She praised

local agencies, law enforcement and her supervisor in Edmonton.

"It's a working partnership between various agencies and government departments," she says.