New Canadian Law Attempts to Block Bogus Refugees

by Jason Dzubow on October 24, 2012

in Asylum Seekers, Human Rights, International

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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  According to the Canadian Immigration Minister, “almost 95 percent of Hungarian asylum claims [are] abandoned, withdrawn or rejected.”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nationals have an acceptance rate of 25% or less, or where 60% or more of claimants from a country have abandoned or withdrawn their claims … would be subject to designation” as a safe country, thus making it more difficult for them to successfully claim asylum.

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.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Szilvia Lakatos June 25, 2013 at 5:56 am

I know the country of Hungary i was born in budapest and i remember just because i am a roma i was not able to be a happy little girl going to school i mean hungary is a country where roma people dont want too stay because of the fact in hungary, i was only 7 when i left hungary i went to canada too seek HELP and refugee…with my family and i just couldnt believe that after going to canada my life is ganna be changed.
after a very long years passed i grew up in canada I learned the language I went too school full time. I have my little brother who was only 2 and half years of age in 2001 and now here i am thinking why does jason kenney put all the roma under one cap! its not fare i was deported with my family and also with my canadian son who i had when i was in canada in 2008. now my son who is soon will be 5 suffers everyday of his life that he had to leave canada and the fact that he had to leave all his toys behind. its heart breaking jason kenney is discriminating the gypsy very hard and very sadly if all the roma had a “BOGUS’” STORY AS JASON KENNEY CLAIMS then why was all the thousands of romas story was the same in the federal court? i mean hungary is NOT A SAFE COUNTRY IT WILL NEVER BE.Jason kenney deported my family after 12 years of being in canada we were sooo happy and loved life and we were happy to fit in the community. Now that i am deported with my family i am curently in united kingdom because when i was deported back to hungary my father and my mother tried to get a house and we coulndt because the landlord saw my mom that she was a ROMA. We had no choice too leave as soon aspossible, being here in united kingdom the second ‘”HUNGARY” WHERE the discrimination againts roma people are as big as in hungary this is a FACT jason kenney needs to go to hungary not where the prime minister takes him because the prime minister takes him only to the nice place not where roma is shown as a discrimination and as in fear! because even the prime ministers hate the roma. I dont believe Jason Kenney should have the MULTICULTRISM name at all im here sufferin everyday and canada does not care for that just because jason kenney made it like that. What really happends in hungary jason kenney doesnt know the truth because when he met with Balogh Zoltan, Balogh lied to him that there is no way that the roma is in fear or any kind of trouble…when Horvath Aladar and Mohacsi Victoria and Kamaras Istvan told canada the truth about hungary and in fact when Jason Kenney went too hungary ORBAN VIKTOR the biggest lier in hungary for the roma people said too him, this is all a lie we have everything for the roma…not true if hungary is a very very safe country then why does half of the country hungary want too disapear from hungary because they are living everyday rasism,dirscrimination, beatings just because your a roma. My brother who is 14 goes to full time school in united kingdom as he tells the the family how of a big discrimination going in the school here i am im now 20 and i coulndt finish my school here because i cannot take discrimination…being in canada for 12 years i was never in my life discriminated maybe thats why we all call canada our HOME. MY brother has grey hair at the age of 14 because he suffered the most its like someone just taking your home your life away your friends this is heart breaking. Jason Kenney should think before he does anything im not saying all the roma people are good people sure not everyones hands is the same but the fact is my story was not a BOGUS because here I am got deported and my family is just deppressed lost and suffering.Now even if a roma family has the chance to stand in Federal Court there is no chance and this is because Jason Kenney made it clear that he doesnt want roma refugees in his country which all comes down where Aladar Horvath told the sun newspaper “hungarians feel the discrimination from Hungary as also from Canada” and its true its all true i rather die then too ever imagine that i will be going to hungary, secondly because of the fact that i did grow up in canada i do NOT take Hungary as my country. Jason Kenney should help the families that need his help and support there was probably thousands of families who deserved to stay and didnt. Ive heard sooo much BOGUS stories from other romas and they were laughing how the Federal Court Believed them and look at them they lied to the federal court and they got there landed immigrant, and the family who cries and tells the truth is a LIER like this is the most unbelievable isue here. Being in Canada for 12 years my family never had a criminal case NEVER and thoes who do criminals and does who rather hide then be deported are still living in Canada now thats what Jason Kenney should be looking at.

Szilvia Lakatos June 25, 2013 at 7:08 am

Being in Canada for 12 years as a family we lived through everything and we know everything, my family who didnt deserve this deportaion and there was many roma family that did not deserve to be removed. as of now this is why the roma people dont believe Jason Kenney, Jason Kenney decision made alot of romas suffer in pain losing there home wich they made in canada because they never had a chance too build it in hungary, but the questions raise up why roma cant live in hungary? that is because roma people cannot work, they starve and evertything is expensive defanatly not for the roma bugdet this budget that i am talking about is only for the Ministers in hungary they cheat and lie. Romas do not have a budget in hungary in fact theres nothing for alot of roma people not even a home nothing they have to live with sibblings and friends because they cannot afford the second reason a roma wont get a house or a job is because we are romas and thats the truth NOT ALL ROMAS ARE BAD! my family sufferd they ripped our hearts out i remember how it felt being deported leaving my HOME of 12 years i was a little child when i left hungary and i was proud of my parents for taking us to canada. Leaving my school friends and my home was just a HEART RIPPING.i was crying even on the airplane as we left. the question is how does Jason Kenney live with him self knowing that hungary is not a safe country its basically saying pakistan is a safe country yet you see it on the news and networks that there killing people so its not a fase country just like Hungary Orban Viktor and all the Ministers in Hungary should STOP lieing to Jason Kenney. But Jason Kenney didnt care at all that he split our family up because i have an older sister who was able to get laned immigrant because she got married and had 2 children that makes my parents a Grandparants what Jason Kenney toke away from parents , Jason does not know the feeling and the heart breaking that he split my family APART and left us to be deported to Hungary on May 6 2012 with my canadian son who was a citizin who did not deserve this life at all neither did i or my brother because for 12 years we made canada our home we will never take hungary as our country never ever. Jason Kenney’s decision on my famiy and other roma familys life is like human killing how does this Jason Kennney could live and sleep knowing that alot of roma people deserve to be stayed like i said HUNGARY IS NOT A SAFE COUNTRY jason kenney should go to Hungary and live there and feel what we felt years ago. My parants suffered so much for leaving canada behind and the family was torn and ripped apart my parants also suffered and still suffer so much because they cannot see and be with the grandchildren this is what Jason Should be looking at but maybe he hates roma too because Orban Viktor and the group of lies soke with Jason Kenney deniying everything they can and this is why Jason Kenney believes that Hungary is a safe country why doesnt jason kenney speak with a real roma who really suffers or why does he not speak with Horvath Aladar or Mohacsi Vicktoria and Kamaras Istvan who are living in canada Toronro who they them selves ran away from Hungary, theses are the people Jason Kenney should be talking too not the Ministers that lie stright in his eyes and he believes because there from the parlament. Orban Viktor hates romas when hungarin roma people left to canada from hungary the Ministers were very happy that they dont have to deal with the gypsy communty. Canada is very famous country for child safety and mother safety and WOMEN safety is this really true or this is just a commercial? Jason Kenney put alot of hungarian roma families in death situation, I wonder if Jason Kenney ever reads the Romenet.co or other information where its all writin down how roma people are triggerd and in fear of everything. We thank all the good roma people like horvath aladar and mohacsi viktoria and kamaras istvan for standing up for the roma people in hungary and in Canada and we are greatfull for them helping roma like they should.

Szilvia Lakatos

Tina August 27, 2013 at 10:42 am

I been refused – don’t have worke permit- i came to canada because of abuse from my husband , i have 2 kids – nationality UK- and i need to go back -! i need to know the porocess to go back home

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