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Thread: Bloggings: New Canadian Law Attempts to Block Bogus Refugees by Jason Dzubow

  1. #1

    Bloggings: New Canadian Law Attempts to Block Bogus Refugees by Jason Dzubow

    Bloggings On Political Asylum


    Jason Dzubow

    New Canadian Law Attempts to Block Bogus Refugees

    Canada is preparing to implement the Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act
    later this year.  The law is ostensibly designed to protect Canada’s
    refugee law by weeding out false asylum claimants.  The provisions of
    the new law include the following:

    - The immigration minister would have the
    power to designate which countries are safe without a committee
    including human rights experts.

    - Rejected refugee claimants from “safe”
    countries would no longer be able to appeal the decision to the
    Immigration and Refugee Board (the administrative body that reviews
    asylum claims).

    - Claimants from countries on the safe
    country list would have limited appeals rights and limited ability to
    apply for compassionate or humanitarian relief.

    The law seems primarily targeted at the Roma (a/k/a Gypsies) who have been coming to Canada from Hungary in large numbers and requesting asylum.  According to the Canadian Immigration Minister, “almost 95 percent of Hungarian asylum claims [are] abandoned, withdrawn or rejected.”  The Minister states
    that “Countries whose nationals have an acceptance rate of 25% or less,
    or where 60% or more of claimants from a country have abandoned or
    withdrawn their claims … would be subject to designation” as a safe
    country, thus making it more difficult for them to successfully claim

    Under the new Canadian law, Mexico is “safe.”

    My first question about this new law is whether it is necessary.
     Under the current system, people who can return safely will presumably
    have their cases denied anyway.  The new law is designed to streamline
    the system to allow people from certain countries to be deported more
    quickly.  Also, if people from “safe” countries know that their claims
    will likely be denied, they may decide not to seek asylum in Canada in
    the first place.  Proponents of the law claim that all this will save
    government resources.  But I wonder how many people will actually be
    dissuaded from coming and–for those who do seek asylum–how much money
    the government will actually save under the new, streamlined system. 
    Currently, 95% of asylum claimants from Hungary are unsuccessful, yet
    Hungarians keep coming to Canada.  If the current (very high) denial
    rate does not dissuade people from coming, how will the new law? 
    Further, those who seek asylum from “safe” countries are still entitled
    to certain procedures and benefits.  It is unclear how much the Canadian
    government will save by marginally reducing the protections available
    to such asylum seekers.

    Assuming the law is needed, how effective will it be?  The idea of
    determining in advance whether a country is safe seems antithetical to
    international refugee law.  Someone once said that no country is safe
    for everyone all the time.  If 95% of Roma claims are denied, what type
    of harm do the remaining 5% face?  Also, just because a country has a
    low overall denial rate for asylum claims does not mean that it is
    safe.  To cite an example from our side of the border, the denial rate
    for Mexicans is quite high (about 98%),
    but certain people from Mexico–journalists and human rights
    activists–face real danger there.  Another example–while the overall
    asylum grant rate for Jamaicans is low, the grant for Jamaicans claiming
    asylum based on sexual orientation is relatively high.  My point is
    that designating a country “safe” just because the overall grant rate is
    low will likely result in legitimate asylum seekers being rejected and
    returned to face persecution. 

    Despite these (and other) doubts, the Protecting Canada’s Immigration
    System Act will go into effect shortly.  We will then start to get a
    clearer idea of whether the law will save resources and how it will
    affect asylum seekers.

    Originally posted on the Asylumist:

    About The Author

    Jason Dzubow's practice focuses on immigration law, asylum, and appellate litigation. Mr. Dzubow is admitted to practice law in the federal and state courts of Washington, DC and Maryland, the United States Courts of Appeals for the Third, Fourth, Eleventh, and DC Circuits, all Immigration Courts in the United States, and the Board of Immigration Appeals. He is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the Capital Area Immigrant Rights (CAIR) Coalition. In June 2009, CAIR Coalition honored Mr. Dzubow for his Outstanding Commitment to Defending the Rights and Dignity of Detained Immigrants.In December 2011, Washingtonian magazine recognized Dr. Dzubow as one of the best immigration lawyers in the Washington, DC area; in March 2011, he was listed as one of the top 25 legal minds in the country in the area of immigration law. Mr. Dzubow is also an adjunct professor of law at George Mason University in Virginia.

    The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) alone and should not be imputed to ILW.COM.

  2. #2
    Don Miller

    You go, Canada!

    BRAVO, Canada! The U.S. can learn from you.

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