The following is a cross-post from Policy Options.

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On December 5, 2012, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (the “Minister“) made his first designation of irregular arrival under Bill C-31, the Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act. The Washington Post is reporting that the 85 people were designated, including 35 children.  Thirty of the irregular arrivals have already been arrested thus far.  The refugee claimants appear to be Romanian, and arrived in Canada between February and October.

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Some Twitter followers have asked me to explain my comments regarding a press release that I have described as extremely misleading. On February 22, 2012, Citizenship and Immigration Canada released a press release titled “Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act Earning Rave Reviews“.  The press release contains quotes from politicians, lawyers, the media, and interest groups.  After reading it, one would reasonably assume that everyone quoted supported Bill C-31, the Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act. However, anyone remotely familiar with who some of the people quoted in the press release are will […]

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On February 16, Jason Kenney and the Conservative government introduced Bill C-31, the Protecting Canada’s Immigration Act.  The Act makes many reforms to Canada’s refugee system, and amends previous amendments to Canada’s immigration legislation contained in the Balanced Refugee Reform Act which have not yet come into affect.  Bill C-31 was greeted by many refugee lawyers and advocates with much criticism, and was received with particular indignation from the New Democratic Party. It is not difficult to see why the NDP was outraged by the introduction of Bill C-31.  Less than […]

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The five grounds for claiming Convention refugee status on the basis of a well-founded fear of persecution are race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group and political opinion. Political opinion is a broad concept that is not merely limited to belonging to a political party.  Canada (Attorney General) v Ward (1993)  is the leading Supreme Court of Canada case on the scope of political opinion. According to that decision, political opinion includes “any opinion on any matter in which the machinery of state, government, and policy may be engaged.”   […]

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There are three types of refugee classes for refugees that are re-settled from abroad. These are the Convention Refugees Abroad Class, the Country of Asylum Class, and the Source Country Class. Minister Kenney has introduced regulatory changes to eliminate the Source Country Class.

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A persuasive decision is a decision that is considered to have persuasive value in developing consistent jurisprudence. They provide clear, complete, and concise reasons with respect to the particular element that is thought to have persuasive value, and consider all of the relevant issues in a case. Other members are encouraged to rely upon persuasive decisions in the interests of consistency.

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People are often dismissive when they hear of refugee claimants arriving with stories of persecution at the hands of militias or gangs. This especially appears to be the case when the refugee claimants originate from a democratic country. Why, they ask, do these people not simply go to the police in their respective home countries?

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Citizenship and Immigration Canada has released Operational Bulletin 228 – Visa Office Referred and Joint Assistant Sponsorships (JAS) for Refugees – New Templates and Instructions. This bulletin is somewhat timely given the recent media furor regarding Canada’s “failed” refugee system. It highlights that there are alternatives to becoming a refugee in Canada beyond showing up and declaring an intention to seek asylum.  Indeed, the number of refugees who arrive in Canada through specific programs exceeds those who declare that they are refugees from within Canada. In 2009, 7,202 people became refugees […]

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