Canada, during the first year of the economic crisis, was the top target of asylumseekers among the G8 major industrialized nations on a per-capita basis, according to a report released yesterday.
An estimated 34,800 people arrived in Canada in 2008 seeking refugee status, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development's annual report on global migration.
That works out to 1,045 asylum-seekers for every million people in Canada.
Only the United States, with 39,400, and France, with 35,400, had more among Canada's largest trading partners. The U.S. figure works out to just 130 for every million people, while the French total was 568 for every million.
The Canadian government has since restricted access to Canada for potential asylumseekers from Mexico and the Czech Republic.
The government has also recently passed legislation to crack down on what Immigration Minister Jason Kenney referred to as "waves of false asylum claims coming from safe, democratic countries."
The fact that Canada attracted more "asylum-seekers" (allegedly) per capita is on par with Canada introducing more foreigners into Canadian society, under the guise of "new Canadians", per capita than any other country. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing is debatable but I contend that the merits of allowing such high intakes are dubious and do not hold much weight under closer scrutiny.
What I think should be clear is that these are not real refugees, at least not in the conventional sense. They are economic migrants, self selecting immigrants using the asylum system to immigrate to Canada.
Speaking of jumping the immigration queue surprise, surprise another boatload of suspected Sri Lankan Tamil migrants are headed for British Columbia's coast.
Canadian authorities are monitoring a Thai cargo ship after reports it may be on its way to the British Columbia coast with more than 200 migrants on board.
The MV Sun Sea was last spotted in the Gulf of Thailand, where it was the subject of a lookout issued by the Philippine Coast Guard, which called it "a suspected people-smuggling vessel."
On the weekend, Colombo's Sunday Observer newspaper reported that while the 59-metre vessel was originally headed for Australia it was now sailing toward the Canadian coast.
The office of Jason Kenney, the Minister of Immigration, is following the case. "This could end up being a prime example of individuals trying to take advantage of our generous immigration system," said Celyeste Power, the Minister's spokeswoman.
The Department of Foreign Affairs also said it was "aware of press reports suggesting that a vessel has departed Southeast Asian waters and may be destined for Canada," and vowed to prosecute anyone caught smuggling human cargo.
Prosecuting the people-smugglers is part of the solution but allowing the illegal migrants ashore and processing their claims while allowing them roam free in Canadian society doesn't help much. Didn't we just let 76 suspected Tamil Tigers into Canadian society via a smuggling operation? What kind of signal do you think that sent?
If they are Sri Lankans they are probably Tamil. And they are bogus. Plain and simple. They are immigrating, not seeking refuge. The claims of Tamil persecution in Sri Lanka are over-exaggerated if not outright lies. Since the war has been over for a year the best way to deal with this is to stop all asylum claims from Sri Lanka. It's an absolute joke that Canada has the most Sri Lankan Tamils, an estimated 250,000 to 300,000, in the world outside of Sri Lanka. How do you think they got here? As immigrants or as "refugees"?
This is worth watching because it will put to test the new procedures for determining refugees that just recently came into law. If it has teeth then all 200+ of them should be on their way back to Sri Lanka within six months. Sadly, I think that is wishful thinking. I feel Canada will add another 200+ bogus Sri Lankan Tamil "refugees" to the already 250,000+ Sri Lankan Tamil bogus "refugees" that preceded them.
Mind you if it weren't for the Singh decision then Canada wouldn't be the bogus refugee's top nation of choice.