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Canada’s new law to shut doors on bogus refugees


Toronto : With bogus refugee claimants from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and many other countries leading to a virtual breakdown of its immigration and refugee system, Canada Sunday announced a new law to fix the crisis.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said he will introduce the legislation Tuesday to weed out fake claimants from genuine cases.

Canada accepts the largest number of refugees among all the developed nations. But because of it lenient laws anyone can enter the country and file for refugee claim on flimsy grounds such as their persecution in their native countries.

During the ethnic war in Sri Lanka and the militancy in Punjab, thousands of people sought refugee status in Canada. Currently, there are more than 60,000 such cases pending before its immigration and refugee board. As these cases linger on for years, refugees cost millions of dollars to Canadian taxpayers each year.

Even as 58 percent of the cases are turned down or withdrawn, refugees spend years in this country after challenging the verdict.

The immigration minister said the new bill fast-track genuine cases and weed out bogus cases.

“It (the new bill) will speed up the system and give faster protection to real refugees while sending the message to the bogus claimants that you’re not going to be able to use the system in Canada anymore. We’re going to remove you a whole lot more quickly,” the minister told the Canadian TV network Sunday.

“We intend to come forward with legislative changes to crack down on the bogus, unscrupulous consultants and advisers who counsel people to commit fraud, who often take money and provide no services, and many of whom counsel immigrants looking for status in Canada to make false refugee claims,” Kenney said.

Of late, Canada has been getting more refugees from European countries like Hungary and the Czech Republic.