Many of my constituents have emailed their concerns over the many cases of foreigners abusing our Immigration system and the costs to taxpayers. Minister Jason Kenney, of Citizenship and Immigration is taking action to correct and streamline the immigration rules. The Minister stated “We are a generous nation but we have no tolerance or patience for people who don’t play by the rules and who lie or cheat to become a Canadian citizen.” I agree. About 6,500 people have been deported for using false documents or fraud to get into Canada. Taxpayers have borne the cost of $170M in bogus refugee claims from the EU alone. Our asylum system is broken.
It can take four and a half years to remove a bogus asylum claimant from Canada. That is one of the reasons we are now receiving thousands and thousands of fake claims coming from democratic countries like those in the European Union. Our government has now introduced a Bill called “Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act” where claims from ‘safe’ democratic countries would be processed within 45 days instead of the current 1,000 days. It would also block claimants from so-called ‘safe’ countries from appealing a negative decision to the new Refugee Appeal Division and it would eliminate a provision that called for a committee of experts to decide which countries would be placed on the safe list. Under this Bill, claimants would no longer be able to apply to stay in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds so long as their refugee claim is pending.
The longer a refugee applicant remains in Canada before a decision is made, the less likely bogus applicants are expelled because there are presently nine levels of appeal. So, by the time applicants have exhausted all those avenues (as long as five years), they have homes, children, developed friendships, and, have become part of their community. This can make it hard for the system to send them home. In this legislation, once one is denied, they will have little or no right to appeal.
Legitimate refugees have the opportunity to come to this country, begin a new life, bring up their family and become Canadians in the best country in the world in which to settle. However, when we have countries where individuals are making bogus refugee claims to the point where 95% of the claims are bogus, that is not a system that works.
We have the most generous and fair refugee system in the world. It is essential to maintain that system and take the measures necessary to put an end to the abuse of that system. Canadians expect us to act to defend the fairness and integrity of our immigration system. We will provide protection for real refugees within two months, instead of two years under the current system. We will address the wave of false claims for asylum from democratic countries.
Our government inherited an immigration system that had a back log of 800,000 applications and was open to abuse. We will take the appropriate action to fix it.
Colin Mayes, MP