Canada Toughens Rules for Refugees from EU and Mexico

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Címkék:  canada, refugee, Jason Kenney, law
 17th of February 2012   Source: english.cri.cn

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The Canadian government is bringing in a new refugee bill to stem the flood of refugee claimants from Europe and Mexico, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said on Thursday.


The Canadian government is bringing in a new refugee bill to stem the flood of refugee claimants from Europe and Mexico, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said on Thursday. 

Announcing this at a press conference, Kenney said that he wants the law to be passed by the Parliament by the end of June. 

The law will allow the minister to decide which countries' claimants will be allowed to stay in Canada to appeal decisions that go against them. Presently, failed refugee claimants can stay in Canada while their cases are heard by an immigration appeals board and three levels of courts. 

These appeals can sometimes last a decade, while the failed refugee claimants are eligible for financial support from governments, legal aid and free health care. Under the new law, claimants from safe countries can be deported before appeals courts hear their case. 

Refugee claimants from countries that are on a special " designated country of origin" or "safe country" list will be deported quickly, Kenney said. 

He said that he expects bogus claimants to be kicked out of the country with 45 days. 

"We're sending a message today: If you do not need Canada's protection we will give you access to our fair asylum system and then send you home quickly. You will not be able to remain in Canada for years, using endless appeals at the expense of Canadian taxpayers," Kenney said. 

Canada has seen a sharp rise in "refugees' from Eastern Europe. Claims by Roma from Hungary in 2011 rose to 4,900, up from 2,400 the year before. About 98 percent of these refugee claims were turned down. There has also been an influx of Roma refugee claimants from Poland, Romania and the Czech Republic. 

"It is peculiar that Canada is receiving more asylum claims from the democratic rights-respecting European Union than from Africa or Asia," Kenney said. 

"Nearly all of these claims are determined to be unfounded. Over 95 percent of these claimants abandon or withdraw their own claims. The evidence before us suggests most of these claimants are taking maximum advantage of generous Canadian social benefits, provincial welfare, federal cash transfers.. We must take action to protect the integrity of Canada's immigration system," he said. 

Mexican citizens, who now need a visa to enter Canada, are also considered to be living in a safe country, and will be subjected to the new refugee rules, government officials said.

Rules regarding biometric identification -- including fingerprints and photos -- are included in the new law.


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