“Welcoming” Canada wants faster deportations

OTTAWA – The federal government plans to propose new rules on asylum to encourage faster deportations: according to Global News reports, in fact, the Liberals would like to make changes to Canada’s asylum application system that could speed up the process of expulsion from the country for rejected asylum seekers. 

The proposed amendments, according to Global News, were “quietly announced” two weeks ago in the 2024 federal budget and come as Canada grapples with record numbers of asylum seekers.

“Budget 2024 also proposes to introduce changes to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to simplify and streamline the claims process in support of faster decisions and quicker removals” read the amendments reported by Global News who also reports a statement by IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada): the new measures will “improve the efficiency of the asylum system without compromising fairness or compassion for those in need of protection”.

“Every time we hear the government say the word ‘streamline’, we always know that people’s rights are about to be sacrificed on the altar of administrative efficiency” comments lawyer Chantal Desloges, an immigration and refugee lawyer.

Since March of this year, according to the IRB (Immigration and Refugee Board), 46,736 people have applied for asylum in Canada. This is a 62% increase compared to the same period in 2023, while the backlog amounts to 186,000, according to the agency. And as the number of applicants increases, so does waiting times for asylum seekers, and it can take years for cases to be reviewed by the IRB.

Ottawa has pledged $743.5 million over five years to the CBSA, IRCC and IRB to try to address the backlog of 186,000 asylum claims. Last year alone, more than 141,000 were submitted. “The IRB has the resources to handle 50,000 acceptance requests per year” said immigration and refugee attorney Warren Creates. “They don’t have the resources for the 140,000 who arrived last year. … To tread water, they need to triple their budgets and their adjudication”.

As for deportations, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) issued more than 28,000 “active warrants” to “rejected refugee claimants” in February. Who knows what those 28 thousand think of the slogan “Welcome to Canada” that stands out on one of the pages of the IRCC website (in the photo above, from https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/new-immigrants.html).