Friday, 27 August 2010

Saying 'Refugee' Is The Failed Immigrant's Hail Mary Pass.

You may have heard the story about the transgendered woman who filed a refugee claim in Nova Scotia. If not you can read about it here.

A transgendered woman from Northern Ireland who has lived and worked in Nova Scotia since 2006 is fighting to stay in Canada.

Tanya Bloomfield, owner of a computer company in Chester, was denied temporary work and residency applications in the last year and could face deportation if immigration officials do not give her refugee status.

Her last temporary residence permit expired last August.

Bloomfield is now completing her refugee status claim and will know by the end of next week if her case will be approved.

If she is not granted refugee status, she will be deported immediately, her lawyer Lee Cohen said Friday.

Claiming refugee status is one of the tricks employed to delay removal from the country after all avenues have been exhausted. The last is to plea on humanitarian grounds. And it was done at the prompting of her lawyer but this should come as no surprise. Canada's asylum system has been fashioned by immigration lawyers for their benefit and not for humanitarian and compassionate reasons. As a consequence Canada has become the choice country for bogus asylum claims at great cost to Canadian taxpayers (and great rewards for the immigration industry).

It is dishonest but who cares? You're only conning the Canadian people out of self interest and at their expense. No big deal. Besides Canada isn't a real country anyways. It is just a postal code where no one who lives there has a right to decided who can and cannot permanently reside there.

The idea of a transgendered woman fleeing persecution from northern Ireland should invite laughter but here we take it seriously; well the Singh decision forces us to anyways. As long as that albatross hangs around Canada's neck there is little we can do to stop this kind of nonsense.

What Does the U.K. and Germany Know About Sri Lanka That Canada Doesn't?

I came across this CTV Edmonton story featuring Martin Collacott. In it he compares Canada's acceptance rate for Sri Lankan Tamil refugee claims to the U.K. and Germany.

"We accept about 50 per cent of people who manage to reach our soil and make refugee claims. The average for other countries is around 15 per cent, so your chances of getting accepted in Canada are much greater," Collacott told CTV's Canada AM from Vancouver on Thursday morning.

"And even if you're turned down, the chances are we won't be able to remove you. We remove a few, but we've had people who have been turned down 20 years ago, but are still appealing."

Refugees are given state-funded lawyers, welfare and health care, which leaves the Canadian system as "the Rolls Royce of claiming refugee status," Collacott said.

For Tamil people, Canada is an especially desirable destination because of its large Tamil population and the high-rate of success for Tamil migrants over the years.

"We took 37,000 refugee claimants from Sri Lanka over one 15-year period, more than from any other country in the world," Collacott said.

"Our acceptance rates were much higher. In 2003, for example, Britain accepted 2 per cent of claims from Sri Lankan Tamils; Germany, 4 per cent; Canada, 76 per cent. So, if you can get to Canada to make your claim, it's like winning the lottery."

It still boggles my mind why Sri Lankan Tamil refugee claims are given so much credence and enjoy a scandalously high acceptance rate in this country in comparison to others. What does the U.K. and Germany know about Sri Lanka that they are comfortable with only accepting 2 per cent and 4 per cent of asylum claims from that country respectively? Is racism to blame or is Canadian hubris making us stupid and susceptible to con artists?

Hat tip to Canadian Immigration Report.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

You Tell 'em Rob Ford.

Rob Ford made a political "no no" by questioning the immigration system. From the National Post we read:

Mr. Ford is under fire for comments he made during a debate after candidates were asked how Toronto should welcome Tamil migrants.

"Right now we can't even deal with the 2.5 million people in this city. I think it is more important to take care of people now before we start bringing in more people," Mr. Ford responded. "There's going to be a million more people, according to the official plan, which I did not support, over the next 10 years coming into the city.

"We can't even deal with the 2.5 million people. How are we going to welcome another million people in? It is going to be chaotic.... I think we have to say enough's enough."

He's right but as is typical of all politicians dependent on urban ethnic bloc votes his opponents attacked him over those comments.

What Rob Ford's opponents do not grasp is that he said what everyone outside of elitist circles is thinking. When is enough, enough? How many more immigrants does Toronto need? How many more can we accommodate? Rob Ford has stated that Toronto is $3 billion in debt. Where will the money come from to build the infrastructure to meet the needs of the growing population? Where will the money come from to provide services to satisfy immigrant needs?

Instead of answering these questions Rob Ford's opponents chose to attack him over his comments as if no one who runs for public office is allowed to question Canada's immigration system. What is irksome about this is that it implies that because of Canada's immigrant history Canadians are not allowed to question the immigration system today nor its alleged benefits and necessity. Nor are we allowed to question the demographic future it fates us to. We are, by default, mass immigration cheerleaders damn the consequences. Failure to be so condemns one as anti-immigrant and therefore anti-Canadian.

Such a way of thinking is anti-democratic and anti-intellectual. There are negative consequences to mass immigration and Toronto is experiencing them on several levels. As a resident of the city it is your right to oppose the changes mass immigration brings since you must bear the effects of what is essentially a cultural elitist hobby. It is also your right as a Canadian.

When will we stop being a nation of immigrants and start being a nation? If we go back further in time then we are all Africans. So when did we stop being Africans?

Right now Rob Ford is a front runner and that has many on the elitist left scared so a smear campaign is in effect. It will be interesting to see if he wins and what he does in office.

What is remarkable is that an urban politician openly questioned Canada's immigration system while campaigning for office. This is about as rare as the arrival of Haley's comet. So beholden are politicians to ethnic urban bloc votes that they dare not say anything that might remotely offend them for the sake of their political careers. This illustrates how intellectually bankrupt Canada's political classes are about Canada's immigration policy and how insincere they are about governing since they will say or agree to anything so long as they get votes. As for Rob Ford if he has enough courage to question the emperor and his new clothes then perhaps he deserves to be mayor.

Much To Gain By Lying and How Canada And It's Sri Lankan Tamils Are Helping The Smugglers.

Right now Canadian security agents and immigration officials in British Columbia are being entertained by well concocted tales of persecution, danger, and war in a far off place where to stay is to die, to flee is to live. They are, for the most part, stories fabricated to game Canada's asylum system. Why wait years to come to Canada as an immigrant when a believable fable of persecution is all one needs to walk right into the country and make oneself at home.

In fact that is what some thought they were going to do. According to this CBC news report "some of the nearly 500 Tamil migrants who travelled to British Columbia inside a cramped cargo ship had no idea that once they finally set foot on Canadian soil they could be kept behind bars for weeks or even months." They had it in their heads that "they would be able to explore the country soon after they arrived thinking "the next day they [can] go and see Canada and enjoy". I wonder what gave them that idea?

There is much to gain by misrepresenting yourself as a refugee. Not only is a refugee allowed all the rights and privileges of a Canadian citizen via the Singh decision (except the right to vote) but also work permits, welfare payments, partial health and dental coverage, and subsidized housing. As a consequence the Tamil refugee tab will cost Canadian taxpayers millions especially those of us in Ontario particularly Toronto where most of the Tamil migrants will settle if not all of them. This is what prompted mayoral candidate Rob Ford to speak out against the federal government offloading the costs of its immigration program onto Toronto. Here's a list of welfare benefits that await a refugee claimant:

* Single person with no children -- $585 monthly

* Single person with one child 17 or under -- $913 monthly

* Single person with two kids 17 or under -- $961 monthly

* Single person with two dependent adults -- $1,303 monthly

* Couple with no children -- $1,010 monthly

* Couple with one kid 17 or under -- $1,058 monthly

* Couple with two children under 17 -- $1,112 monthly

* Couple with two dependent adults -- $1,400 monthly

Everyone in the world knows that if you are going to scam an asylum system Canada is the place to do it. Roy Green is a talk radio host on Winnipeg's CJOB 68. On his August 19, 2010 show he interviewed two guests. One was an immigrant from Mexico who came to Canada through the regular channel as a principal applicant. This gentleman speaks of an incident in Quebec when he was having diner with his wife and conversing in Spanish.

Two young Mexicans approached and a conversation began. Turns out the young couple were on their honeymoon and had declared themselves refugees here. Not because of any persecution in Mexico, but because they had researched the Canadian refugee system and knew that if on arrival in Canada they applied for refugee protection Canada would begin to pick up many of their expenses, provide free health benefits and access to social programs. At the end of the honeymoon (about three months) it was the plan of the young couple to return to Mexico and pick up their lives having just enjoyed a paid vacation in Canada (paid for by the Canadian taxpayer).

Camilo also points out that while no longer on the internet, not log ago a PDF document existed which instructed how to take advantage of the Canadian refugee system in order to obtain a year long vacation in Canada.

The other interviewee was a man residing in Toronto. He talks of his encounter with refugee claimants "and estimated only perhaps one in ten was a genuine refugee. He spoke on air about one individual who showed a Canadian IRB adjudicator a scar on his abdomen, claiming the scar was from torture in his native country. The judge signed off on the refugee claim. The individual then admitted to Ghassan that the scar was from an altercation in a personal dispute with another individual."

Showing scars is a tried and true trick in the book. This is what is going on right now in British Columbia. Some of the Tamil migrants are showing scars on their bodies that they hope will prove that they deserve asylum in Canada. Others are showing stumps on their bodies illustrating that they will mostly be on disability benefits and a drain on Canadian health care dollars. But my response to their scars and stumps is so what? How do we know the scar is from torture? How do we know that a lost limb is not the result of an accident or birth defect? But the real question is if they will face persecution if returned to Sri Lanka.

As I have said before and I will say again the answer is no. There are several reasons for not granting any Sri Lankan asylum in Canada. The first is the war is over. The second is the war is over. The third is the war is over. The rest I explain here, here, and here.

Besides, why are we granting asylum to a people who have displayed a propensity to routinely return to the land of their alleged persecution. Ezra Levant writes in this Toronto Sum commentary:

How bad is life back in Sri Lanka for Tamil refugees?

Are they tortured? Do they have a well-founded fear of persecution?

Are things so bloody bad over there that we have to let a boatload of them into Canada, just because they showed up?

That’s what we’re told by immigration lawyers, bleeding heart politicians and fashionable journalists who don’t believe Canada should have any borders at all.

But what about actual Tamil refugees here in Canada? How bad do they think life is back home?

As QMI’s investigative report shows, 71% of Tamil refugees here in Canada think things back in Sri Lanka are good enough that they’ve gone back home for a vacation.

Canadian immigration officials randomly surveyed 50 Tamils already here, who are trying to “sponsor” more people to come over, too. Of those would-be sponsors, 31 are refugees. And 22 of those admit to going back to Sri Lanka.

This is nothing new and it isn't particular to Sri Lankan Tamils. But we do know that Sri Lanka's Tamils willing return to Sri Lanka with as much frequency as they are to claim persecution in Sri Lanka. Martin Collacott has written about this and so has Daniel Stoffman in his book Who Gets In? If actions speak louder than words then not only are Sri Lanka's Tamils telling us that Sri Lanka is a safe place to return to but they also condemn themselves to be liars.

The refugee system is also an avenue to citizenship turning asylum seekers into immigrants. And citizenship is the ultimate draw. Because Canada's asylum system is so generous we encourage and reward abuse of it. That being the case we are indeed helping the people smugglers. People smuggling is a two part process. The first part is getting the migrants to Canada's shores and onto Canadian territory. If the smugglers can do that then they have done their part. The second part is where our government, and in this case in concert with Canada's Sri Lankan Tamils, takes over. Indeed the smugglers are counting on it to the amount of more than $20 million. Were it not for a government bound by the Singh decision and an expatriate Sri Lankan Tamil community willing to chaperone their smuggled cargo through a lax asylum system (and possibly provide funds to pay the smugglers) I doubt these migrants would have taken the risky route of traveling the high seas. Not only are Canada's Sri Lankan Tamils providing legal advice to their migrant countrymen it's likely they will coach them on how to generate a successful refugee claim whether it is legitimate or not. With an historical success rate of 80% rate on average the odds are in their favour.

Sri Lanka's Tamils, both here and abroad, need these migrants in their propaganda war against the Sri Lankan government. Also, it keeps Canada's asylum system open for other Sri Lankan Tamils to use to immigrate. It also brings further legitimacy to the asylum claims of Canada's Sri Lankan Tamils. There is much to gain, and protect, by lying.

The real problem is not the bogus asylum seekers but the system that rewards them. As the National Post states in this editorial:

this is not really a Tamil issue or a Sri Lankan issue. The equivalent of two-and-a-half boatloads of asylum-seekers arrived here in the first six months of this year from Hungary — we just didn’t notice them because they didn’t all arrive at once on national television. We have commented before on the absurdity of this situation, but it bears repeating: The single largest source of refugee claimants to Canada — 1,125 people, which is 11% of the total and 45% more than the second-largest source, China — is Hungary, a full-freight member of the European Union. It’s a tremendous waste of resources. And it’s illogical to focus ire on Sri Lankan refugee claimants, who had an 85% success rate in the first six months of 2010, and ignore Hungarian claimants, who had a 99.5% rejection rate. Accusations of Tamil “queue-jumping” miss the point. There is no refugee “queue” for Sri Lankans. It’s literally first-come, first-served. If they “jumped the queue,” then so did every one of the 34,000 asylum-seekers who arrived in Canada last year.

[...]

If the government really wants to crack down on people abusing the system, as it says it does, most experts agree it will need to get around the Singh decision. Only then would any of the solutions proposed over the past two weeks be available to it. If that means using the notwithstanding clause, so be it — it’s there to be used. As yet the government has shown no sign of even considering it, and as such, its claims to be “getting tough” on the Tamils, or any other group of refugees, ring resoundingly false.

The vast majority of bogus asylum claims are made at the nation's airports and land crossings. These kinds of inland claims dwarf those made by people who arrive by sea. And it happens everyday, every year. There are over 250,000 Sri Lankan Tamils in Canada and I don't think they all arrived by boat. The remedy is a two step solution. One is to revoke the Singh decision. The other is to refuse inland refugee claims. Refugees should only be allowed to come to Canada once their status has been determined. And since most refugees in need of real assistance are languishing in refugee camps they shouldn't be hard to find. They are too destitute to hop around the world on an airplane to asylum shop or pay smugglers up to $50,000 to ship them to another country. Anyone who does that should immediately invite suspicion.

UPDATE: I just came across this Toronto Sun article.

As Canadians are being asked to accept 492 Tamils as refugees, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is in the process of returning thousands of refugees to Sri Lanka and winding down some operations in that country.

Citing improving conditions since the end of the civil war in May 2009, the UNHCR announced last week that it had helped 852 Tamil refugees return to Sri Lanka from India in the first six months of 2010. That six month tally surpasses the 823 people the UN agency assisted in returning home in all of 2009. The agency also reported more than 1,000 refugees returned to Sri Lanka from India on their own.

In eastern Sri Lanka the UNHCR announced in June that it would begin winding down operations aimed at assisting people that were living in camps inside Sri Lanka. The largest camp at the close of the war, the Menik Farm camp, held 228,000 people, now the UN agency only claims 35,000 residents.

If the UNHCR is returning Sri Lankan Tamils back to Sri Lanka citing "improving conditions" then why are we even bothering with the 492 who arrived off the coast of British Columbia and the 76 that preceded them? Will any of Canada's 250,000 Sri Lankan Tamils voluntarily return as well? I doubt it very much since it wasn't about seeking asylum at all but rather about immigrating to Canada.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

The MV Sun Sea Is Not The S.S. St. Louis (so send them all back).

Comparisons are being made between the MV Sun Sea and the S.S. St. Louis as if the arrival of some 490 illegal Sri Lankan Tamil migrants off the coast of British Columbia mirrors the attempt by some 930 German Jews to find asylum from the growing anti-semitism in 1939 Germany. The comparison is inaccurate as I'll explain.

For starters some things need to be clarified about the history surrounding the S.S. St. Louis.

It is true that Canada did turn away the boat carrying 930 German Jews fleeing rampant anti-semitism in late 1930s Germany but this was after Cuba and the United States had already turned the vessel away. Anti-semitism undoubtedly played a part in the turning back of the S.S. St. Louis by all three nations but so did immigration quotas. You see, the S.S. St. Louis left Germany two months before the outbreak of World War II. Europe, technically, was still at peace and so understandably there was little concern that all aboard the S.S. St. Louis faced death if returned to Europe. And death did not meet those returned, at least not at first. The captain of the ship, Gustav Schroeder, was an anti-Nazi German goy and was determined to see his passengers not returned to Germany. He got is wish. Working with Britain and Europe, U.S. officials were able to find refuge for the passengers. Docking in Antwerp on June 17, 1939 some 288 eventually went to the U.K., 224 went to France, 214 went to Belgium, 181 went to the Netherlands, and the rest remained in Antwerp. So by all accounts at the time the passengers did indeed find refuge albeit a temporary one. Tragedy struck them when war broke out (not Canada's fault) and the countries that offered them refuge fell to Nazi occupation (again not Canada's fault). So to guilt trip Canadians into accepting unreasonable immigration quotas and lax refugee laws by exploiting the history of the S.S. St. Louis is disingenuous.

Be that as it may I do not want to downplay the persecution Jews were experiencing in 1939 Germany. But can a parallel be drawn between 1939 Germany and 2010 Sri Lanka where in place of the Jews we have Tamils? I don't think one can be made at all.

Sri Lanka's Tamils are the second largest ethnic group in the country at 12.6% out of a population of 20 million people. Percentage-wise they are as numerous as blacks are in the United States. They are approximately 1/3 the population of the capital city of Colombo and form the majority in several areas and cities in the north eastern part of the country. The city of Jaffna is one example. Thus, Tamil is an official language of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka is a democratic nation. Though the country is Sinhalese majority, minority groups have participated in the nation's democratic process particularly Sri Lanka's Tamils who have been able to exercise political influence through the Tamil National Alliance. This party was formed in 2001 just before national elections through the coalition of four Tamil political parties. Prior to its formation Tamils have exercised their franchise by supporting one of the four Tamil nationalist parties that comprise the Tamil National Alliance Party. These parties are the All Ceylon Tamil Congress, Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front, Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization, and Tamil United Liberation Front. Tamil political participation has been ongoing for some time. The All Ceylon Tamil Congress was founded in 1944 and has been advocating Tamil nationalism ever since. These parties are to Sri Lanka what the Bloc Quebecois is to Canada.

Since Sri Lanka's Tamils and the Sri Lankan government can be accused of obfuscating facts for propaganda purposes so third party testimony becomes all the more relevant. Even this suggests that Sri Lanka's Tamils are exaggerating and fabricating claims of persecution.

Martin Collacott, who was Canada's Canada's high commissioner to Sri Lanka from 1982 to 1986, has this to say:

The suggestion that Tamils are being persecuted as a people in Sri Lanka, however, is nonsense and is a myth propagated by Tamil extremists. The Tigers have, in fact, tried to systematically assassinate moderate leaders in their own community who do not agree with the goal of creating a completely independent Tamil state in Sri Lanka by violent means. The latest victim of their ruthless campaign was the foreign minister of Sri Lanka, Lakshman Kadirgamar, an ethnic Tamil, who was murdered in 2005.

There can be no doubt that Canada has been more than generous to Sri Lankan Tamils seeking asylum. Between 1989 and 2004, for example, we gave refugee status to more than 37,000 such claimants — far more than to the nationals of any other country. Our largesse is also impressive by international standards; in 2003 we accepted 50% more claims from this source than did all the other countries of the world combined.

Here’s one indication of Canadian generosity, and even laxity, in our treatment of refugee claimants. In order to be successful, the claimants have to be able to make the case that they fled their countries of origin because it was not safe to remain there. Yet, in one year alone, 8,600 Sri Lankans with refugee claims pending in Canada applied to the Sri Lankan High Commission in Ottawa for travel documents so they could go back to Sri Lanka for visits.

These are remarks made by a man who was in Sri Lanka at the time when the civil war erupted and when the black July riots of 1983 occurred.

How about the Canadian government? Writting in the same article Martin Collacott notes:
A further indication that Sri Lanka is not quite as dangerous a place for Tamil refugee claimants as their supporters try to make out is to be found in an internal Citizenship and Immigration Canada communication (obtained through an access to information request by Vancouver lawyer Richard Kurland) which noted that “returnees (to Sri Lanka) are dealt with professionally and, unless there are outstanding criminal warrants, deportees and other returnees are simply returned to the community on arrival after brief and professionally conducted interviews.”

The report went on to state that “other countries have successfully returned large numbers of failed asylum seekers, and Sri Lanka is a safe destination for unsuccessful refugee applicants.” In the same vein, at an Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) hearing in 2006, it was pointed out that more than 100 Sri Lankans (failed refugee claimants, and presumably all Tamil) had been sent back to their homeland and none had been mistreated as their lawyers had claimed they would be.

Still not convinced? The National Post quoted James Clad, the former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defence for South and Southeast Asia in this article as telling the Washington Post:

"I'm not an advocate for sending people back to their deaths, but that is just not happening in Sri Lanka," he said. "I've helped a lot of migrants before, but I know a scam when I see one."

If that is not enough how about the United Nations? According to this Australian Broadcasting Corp. report from July 6:

The report, from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, describes "greatly improved" security in Sri Lanka, and says it should not be presumed that Tamils need asylum.

Ezra Levant has this to say as well:

But with the war over, life in Sri Lanka has improved — so much so that the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees says the security situation there is “greatly improved,” and countries of the world should no longer presume someone fleeing Sri Lanka is a genuine refugee.

Question: Why are we pretending these Tamils are refugees, when even the bleeding hearts at the UN don’t?

With the civil war over and the pretense by which many Sri Lankan Tamils used to scam Canada's asylum system gone can we say that Sri Lanka in 2010 is the same as Germany in 1939? Has it ever been? Can we compare the Tamils on the MV Sun Sea to the Jews on the S.S. St. Louis? The answer is no.

If any comparison can be made it is to the S.S. Komogata Maru and as with that ship Canada shouldn't let those aboard land and with naval vessels escort the ship out of Canadian territorial waters. As with those aboard the S.S. Komoagata Maru the Tamils on the MV Sun Sea are attempting to circumvent Canadian immigration law for quick and easy entry into Canada.

They are in fact illegals and should be turned back. It is highly doubtful that the fate that met the Sikhs on the Maru will be the same for the Tamils. But the fate of those on the Maru was brought upon themselves. Called the Budge Budge riot, Sikhs on board the Maru clashed with with police after refusing to re-board the ship since disembarking in Calcutta. They marched upon the city to protest the British colonial government's intention of placing all those aboard the boat on a train to be returned to Punjab. Had there been co-operation instead of belligerence then no one needed to die in the resulting riot. Again, this is not Canada's fault.

But the trip of the S.S. Komogata Maru had been provocative in nature. It was meant to challenge Canada's continuous journey regulation regarding immigration. It was a political statement not an act of innocent immigrants seeking a better life. (As an aside what is oftentimes missing in this narrative is the assassination of William C. Hopkinson by Mewa Singh. Mewa Singh is considered a hero by some Canadian Sikhs and William C. Hopkinson an enemy. So one of the few assassinations of a government official in Canadian history was committed by a Sikh immigrant who is celebrated by other Sikhs who bizarrely call themselves Canadians.) Same can be said of the MV Sun Sea. It is equally a political statement as it is an immigration scam. The awarding of refugee status to Sri Lankan Tamils scores the Sri Lankan Tamil independence movement political points to be used against the Sri Lankan government.

To finish a few things need to be stated. The first is that past events in Canadian immigration history should not be used to dictate present immigration policy. The second is addressing whether those who arrive from Sri Lanka are refugees at all. To much ink and energy is being wasted discussing who and who is not an LTTE terrorist. This is a distraction from the real question: are they refugees at all? I think it has been well demonstrated that those who arrived on the MV Sun Sea are not refugees and should be returned. And I mean all of them. Doing so will ensure that no LTTE terrorist enters Canada who arrived on the MV Sun Sea and it will discourage others from risking their lives on the high seas. This has immigration scam written all over it. Sri Lanka's Tamils have been gaming Canada's refugee system for far too long to let it continue. There are real refugees out there. Let's pay attention to them. Thirdly we shouldn't lose focus of the fact that most refugee claims are made at the nation's airports and border crossings. What happened off the coast of British Columbia happens everyday at those points of entry. This has to do with the Singh decision of 1985 and why the notwithstanding clause needs to be used to revoke it. It has given birth to a costly and inefficient way to determine refugees while undermining Canadian sovereignty. A better way for Canada to meet its commitment to the world's refugees exists.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

By Plane, Not By Boat And Why The Singh Decision Is To Blame.

So some 490 self-selecting, queue jumping, economic Tamil migrants from Sri Lanka are about to game the most gullible and generous refugee system in the world this time by sea. This isn't the first time Sri Lankan Tamils have tried this. The first attempt was in 1987, two years after the Singh decision was passed. It is important to note that because the Singh decision is the reason Canada is the prime target for bogus asylum claims.

The Singh decision was a judicial ruling in 1985 prompted by a lawyer representing six Guyanese Sikhs who failed in their asylum bid to stay in Canada. To stay deportation they challenged Canada's asylum laws and successfully argued that they enjoyed full protection of the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms and should be subjected to its statutes, since they are in Canada after all, and not by international treaties that Canada has signed respecting refugees. This was based on one poorly chosen word in the Charter: "everyone". The Charter states that "everyone" in Canada is protected by it whether he or she is a citizen or not. What this means is that anyone in Canada can enjoy all the rights and freedoms of a Canadian citizen except one thing; this one thing is the right to vote because the Charter specifies that this is the exclusive right of a Canadian citizen.

This is where the Charter has failed us as Canadians. By extending Charter protection to anyone in the country irrespective of legal status the Singh decision has effectively undermined Canadian sovereignty by removing legal mechanisms that the government can employ to enforce the nation's borders and control the inflow of people. It accomplished this by denying us the right to turn anyone away at the border if they say the magic word: refugee.

Prior to the Singh decision Canadian asylum law was largely guided by the legal framework of the UN Convention on Refugees. As a signer to the Convention Canada could turn someone away if it is assumed that they are asylum shopping, if internal flight is a possibility or if they made their passage to Canada via other safe havens especially countries that are cosigners to the Convention. The Singh decision did away with all of that since it extends Charter protection to anyone on Canadian soil. Now anyone who makes a refugee claim on Canadian soil is granted due process in the Canadian legal system for to deny them that would be a violation of their Charter rights even though they are not citizens.

The results have been detrimental to the integrity of Canada's asylum system. Canada can no longer turn anyone away so long as they make a refugee claim even if they arrived from a cosigner nation to the UN Convention on Refugees. This is why Canada could not turn away asylum claims at the Canada/U.S. border even though the U.S. is a signatory nation to the UN convention. Indeed, the United States is one of Canada's top refugee producing nations due in part to deserting U.S. soldiers but mostly due to illegal immigrants in the United States bringing their American born children to Canada to make a refugee claim.

The United States has been a conduit for many seeking to game Canada's new asylum rules thanks to the Singh decision. It has been reported that half of all asylum claims made in Canada by Sri Lankan nationals has been at the Canada/U.S. border.

But the United States has been affected to. Many would make an asylum claim in Canada only to disappear once released into Canadian society. I have read that almost half of all Chinese refugee claimants in Canada disappear allegedly having been smuggled into the U.S. Others, like Ahmed Rhessam who got into Canada as a refugee, sought to take American lives. It should be noted that Ahmed Rhessam almost got away with it thanks to Canada. It was a suspicious U.S. border guard who saved the lives of many Americans.

In order to deal with this Canada and the U.S. initiated the "third safe country" treaty. This treaty allows Canada and the U.S. to turn away asylum claims back to either Canada or the United States and to make their asylum claim there. However this is a band aid solution since the real problem is the Singh decision.

The Singh decision is an embarrassment to Canada and has affected diplomatic relations. Instead of going to the root of the problem Canada choses instead to slap visa restrictions in reaction to influxes of what are believed to be bogus asylum claims. This is what recently happened to Mexico and the Czech Republic. Canada insulted the citizens of these nations by punishing them with visa restrictions in order to address the asylum system abuses Canada was being subjected to by the relatively few people from those countries.

As I already mentioned the Singh decision grants all rights and freedoms to anyone on Canadian soil except the right to vote. It also grants all the entitlements of Canadian citizenship to refugee claimants. These entitlements include full health care, social assistance (welfare), business and student loans, language training, skills training and job placement.

On top of that one can exploit an appeals process that can take years to conclude if at all. Henri Jean-Claude Seyoboka, a Rwandan refugee accused of inciting genocide, has been fighting deportation for 13 years. Mahmoud Mohammed Issa Mohammad is sill in Canada even though the government has tried for years to deport the man who has been in Canada long enough to have grand children. These men are completely inadmissible to Canada and unworthy of Canadian citizenship yet we cannot remove them.

The ultimate reward the Singh decision bestows to its successful abusers is Canadian citizenship. Technically a refugee is only seeking temporary refuge with the intention of leaving at a future date. However we have it here in Canada that they can become permanent residents. This is not necessarily a bad thing but it is when a refugee needs neither pertinent job skills or a decent command of one of Canada's official languages. A completely illiterate, unskilled, idiot can become a Canadian citizen through the refugee system. And so the asylum system has been the choice avenue for those with no pertinent job skills or language skills to enter Canada. These are people who have no chance at being accepted as principal applicants but want entry to shopping mall Canada. Indeed, filing a refugee claim has been the Hail Mary pass for many wishing to extend their stay in Canada as per the advice of many unscrupulous immigration consultants.

Thanks to the Singh decision Canada has developed the international reputation as being a soft target for immigration scams. Everyone in the world knows that if you are going to game a refugee system Canada is the place to do it. Canadian hubris blinds us to this fact. What we call compassion others see as naivety (but mostly stupidity). Official Canadian figures even attest to this. Almost half of all refugee claims are considered bogus. I suspect it is even higher, a suspicion I feel is shared in official circles but we allow them in anyways mostly for quota purposes and to give the appearance that Canada is committed to refugees. Think about it. What legitimate refugee has the means to get a passport, lingers in their country long enough to obtain that passport from the government that is persecuting them, has the funds to afford a plane ticket to make a targeted asylum claim in Canada, the freedom of movement in their land of persecution to get to the airport, and then pass airport security to board the plane? It's totally absurd.

The costs are burdensome as well. It has been revealed that it costs taxpayers $30,000 a year to process a claim, legitimate or not. The UN spends about $3 billion a year on refugees. Do the math.

Though the arrival of bogus refugees arriving by boat is attention getting we have to realize that the overwhelming majority of refugees arrive in Canada by plane. There are an estimated 250,000 +Sri Lankan Tamils in Canada and I don't think they all arrived by way of sea.

The Singh decision needs to be revoked by use of the notwithstanding clause allowed in the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. It allows for and rewards abuse of the asylum system. It offers full Charter protection to non citizens thus making it difficult to deny them entry to Canada if they make a refugee claim and it makes it difficult to remove them if they are found to be inadmissible. It grants entitlement of citizenship to non-citizens such a health care and social assistance. It is the stepping stone to Canadian citizenship for those who bring no job skills with them yet face no real persecution in their native country. It invites and rewards bogus refugee claims since it allows immediate entry into Canadian society at the utterance of a single three syllable word. It has not improved Canada's asylum system. It has made it unmanageable and unenforceable. Above all it is an affront to Canadian sovereignty.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Yeah, About Those Job Gains...

From the Globe and Mail.

After recouping almost all of the jobs lost during the recession in less than a year, Canada’s employment machine has hit a wall.

Employers slashed 139,000 full-time jobs in July while adding almost 130,000 part-time positions, Statistics Canada said Friday, and the unemployment rate edged back up to 8 per cent. The unexpected net loss of 9,300 jobs marks the labour market’s first decline this year and comes after increases of more than 93,000 jobs in the previous month and a record 109,000 jobs two months earlier. The jobless rate rose unexpectedly from 7.9 per cent in June, when it had dipped below 8 per cent for the first time since early 2009.

A couple of things to take away from this. First, note how 139,000 full-time jobs were lost while 130,000 part-time jobs were added. When calculating job figures part-time, contract, temporary, and seasonal jobs contribute to those numbers however they are less stable, almost bereft of benefits, and in most cases pay less. Even a job posting for a single day of employment is counted as a job gain. Are these kinds of jobs fueling the Canadian labour market? Are we importing 250,000+ immigrants to staff Tim Hortans franchises? How about not opening the franchise in the first place? How many de we even need?

Secondly, note how the rise in unemployment rose to 8% "unexpectedly". This means that the so-called "experts" who make their living offering projections by compiling and analyzing data are nothing more than the academic equivalent of a Las Vegas odds maker. They really do not know what the future holds and therefore make educated guesses. This guess work is what many, if not all, mass immigration proponents base their arguments on. Assumptions form the foundation of Canada's mass immigration policy, fronted to distract the skeptical from discovering what Canada's mass immigration policy is really all about: cheap labour and votes.

If Canada's labour market is increasingly becoming characterized with what labour activists call "precarious work", how attractive is that to the world's "best and brightest"? It isn't and this should tell us what kind of immigrants Canada is attracting. We do not attract the best and the brightest. The majority of immigrants who enter Canada as principal applicants can be described as average, or middle of the road, even subpar and in many, many cases do not meet Canadian labour standards, an inconvenient truth mass immigration advocates do not want to admit.

The majority of immigrants to Canada are unskilled gaining entry either by family, by asylum, or as a temporary worker or live in care giver or through the investor class (which is just citizenship for sale). Or by outright fraud. The streets of Toronto attest to this.

Some are the aged parents of immigrants imported to take advantage of the social and financial benefits that can be awarded to them via the welfare state while contributing nothing to its support. There is an estimated 100,000 seniors in queue waiting to come to Canada (how many do you think are from the Punjab?). Why are we allowing them to immigrate here when immigration is supposed to combat Canada's aging population? Outside of political necessity is doesn't make economic sense since they will most likely be a drain on services and shut out many Canadians of senior age from the health care system that they have paid into all their working lives. Mass immigration's effect on Canada's health care system needs consideration.

For those who do come to Canada as professionals, particularly south Asians, they do so foolishly often surrendering the "better life" in their native country to live in banality in Canada for as silly a reason that western citizenship is fashionable.

Is this the way to build a country?

However all is not bad (or so we are led to believe).

In Canada, the full-time job losses included drops of more than 65,000 at schools, plus about 30,000 in finance, insurance, real estate and leasing, in part because the housing market is cooling across the country. On Thursday, the Toronto Real Estate Board said home sales in July were 34 per cent lower than the same month a year earlier, and data from Vancouver and Calgary this week showed even sharper decreases in those cities.

Still, since July of 2009, Canada’s economy has created 393,700 jobs, Statscan said. Manufacturing, one of the hardest-hit industries when exports to the U.S. plunged in late 2008, saw a monthly gain of about 29,000 jobs – the biggest increase in two years and an indication that sales abroad aren’t being hurt yet.

So I guess we need, what? A million immigrants this year to meet labour market demand? Two million? How much is too many? How little is to little?

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Rethinking Family Reunification.

This article appeared in the Winnipeg Sun. Though it is an argument as to why English (and French) should be mandatory for all potential immigrants the piece does highlight how family reunification has be abused to sidestep such trivialities as language proficiency and pertinent job skills to import what are (dare I say?) second or third rate immigrants into the country.

Over the years, Canada’s liberal multicultural policy has encouraged family reunifications, letting in members and spouses (within just six months) without demanding any language proficiency or educational qualifications.

The intent of this policy may have been benign, but the consequences have not been so benign. People have taken advantage of this policy to import into Canada their whole clans.

By waiving linguistic proficiency for family members, Canada has indeed helped spawn a scandalous spousal industry in its immigrant communities.

Imported spouses

Since they have grown so big, do most immigrant communities need wholesale imports of off-shore spouses? Not really. It is their greed that guides them to seek off-shore spouses from whose families they take huge amounts of money — called dowry.

Because people in India, Pakistan and elsewhere are so desperate to get their children — and later themselves — into Canada, they become willing victims of these sharks from Canada. In fact, there have been some morally shocking cases where Toronto-area immigrant men arranged fake marriages with their sisters in their native countries to bring them to Canada as their “wives.”

[...]

But the worst case of exploitation of this linguistic-requirement waiver has been its sinister use by immigrant families to bring in their elderly parents or relatives on the grounds of taking care of them.

In vast numbers of cases, these elderly people have been brought here to serve as cash cows since they fetch old-age pensions for these families. Go to any mall in Mississauga or Brampton, Ont., and you will invariably find many of these elderly people wandering around aimlessly and feeling lost.

The Springdale neighbourhood of Brampton, Ontario has a heavy Sikh population. So ubiquitous are elderly Indian immigrants in the area that you'd think it was a retirement community. After reading the above it makes sense now. It's apparent that they have been imported to take advantage of old age security benefits as well as burden Canadian tax payers with their health care needs. Indeed, waiting lists have increased in Brampton-Srpingdale and a scarcity of patient beds has arisen because of the flood of aged East Indian immigrants. I don't see how this benefits Canadians or the economy.

This explains why Brampton-Springdale Liberal MP, who is a Canadian born Sikh to Punjabi immigrants, had tabled a private members bill, Bill C-428, that would grant old age security benefits to immigrants after a mere three year period. It was due to community pressure and a desperate need to hold onto her seat which she almost lost at the last election.

It's not just the importation of elderly immigrants that is a problem. The importation of unskilled family members of working age is burdensome as well. We introduce these people into Canadian society and the labour market only to dole out more millions of dollars just to teach them to speak English or French as well as job skills training. Does this make sense?

Family reunification, along with the refugee system, has been the means by which otherwise inadmissible immigrants were able to get into Canada. Needing neither language skills or any pertinent job skills the Canadian labour market has been flooded with unskilled immigrant labour. Toronto is home to so many "new Canadians" that leave one scratching their head wondering how they even got into the country if we are to assume that the Canadian immigration system is geared to favour the "best and brightest" with a focus on job growth.

The writer of the article points out why this has been allowed to continue. Since a pathetic three year residency is all the is needed to turn one into an instant Canadian these family class immigrants will become eligible to vote and that's all the really matters now doesn't it?