Claims by U.S. asylum seekers rising fast
America now ranks in 5th place among refugee source countries
May 15, 2008 04:30 AM
As Canada's refugee backlog continues to grow, asylum seekers from the United States are appearing prominently on the radar for the first time, ranking fifth among other top refugee source countries in the world.
Refugee board spokesperson Charles Hawkins said many of the American claimants were born in the United States to illegal migrant parents from other countries, mostly Mexico and Haiti, who are not bound by admission restrictions to the country.
While these U.S. claimants are listed as Americans, their claims are processed with their parents but also weighed against their circumstances south of the border. It's not surprising that the group yielded only a 5 per cent acceptance rate. Rejected claimants are generally returned to their homeland or last country of residency.
Mexican nationals do not need a visa to enter Canada and therefore aren't subject to the provisions of the Safe Third Country Agreement, a bilateral accord that since 2004 has denied refugees who landed first in the U.S. the right to file claims in Canada, and vice versa.
In 2007, Haiti, whose nationals are protected by a moratorium on deportations from Canada – and thus are exempt from the accord – ranked second with a total of 3,713 claimants, followed by those from Colombia (2,636) and China (1,462).
Accompanying this story is a list of the top sources of refugees for Canada.
TOP 10 SOURCES OF REFUGEES FOR CANADA
Countries, number of refugees and acceptance rate in 2007
1. Mexico: 7,047, 10% accepted
2. Haiti: 3,713, 50%
3. Colombia: 2,636, 78%
4. China: 1,462, 65%
5. U.S.: 968, 5%
6. Sri Lanka: 811, 88%
7. Nigeria: 762, 44%
8. India: 557, 12%
9. Israel: 395, 17%
10. Pakistan: 359, 50%
Source: Immigration and Refugee Board
Some things to take note of. Note the acceptance rate, at 88%, for Sri Lankan refugees. That's 88%! Also note Colombia at 78%.
Mexico tops the list and we should ask ourselves why? From what persecution are they fleeing from.
Note how Israel is in the ninth spot. That's an insult to Israel. Jewish groups in Canada have warned the government that they are economic migrants abusing the refugee system.
Also note how India, China, and Pakistan are on the list. These countries are also on the list of top ten sources of immigrants to Canada as well as top ten sources for family reunification.
What I am driving at is that our refugee system is being abused by economic migrants, in some cases they are middle class immigrants dressing up like women to secure a spot on a lifeboat to escape a sinking ship. Fleeing poverty is not a legitimate reason to file a refugee claim so they cook up some story. What infuriates me about this is that this inflicts a terrible disservice to those who are actually fleeing real persecution. It is also incredibly taxing on the public purse.
Canada needs to invoke the notwithstanding clause and repeal the nefarious Singh decision. That's the first step needed to stop the abuse.