For each month from January 2009 to July 2010, the percentage of accepted refugee claims from Sri Lanka was typically greater than 80 or 90 per cent, the data show.
But in August, the month the Tamils arrived aboard the MV Sun Sea — sparking a heated debate about Canada's refugee system and vows by the Harper government to crack down on human smuggling — the percentage of accepted claims dropped to 75 per cent. It then plunged to 47 per cent in September.
Since it takes an average of 22 months for a refugee claim to be heard, none of the cases decided in September were connected to the migrants aboard the MV Sun Sea.
So it looks like Sri Lanka's Tamils are going to have to get in line and apply to immigrate to Canada just like everybody else instead of shamelessly scamming a humanitarian system.
If this is not an anomaly, as the Canadian Tamil Congress hopes it is, and is indicative of an ongoing trend that will witness further drops in acceptance rates then this will substantially hinder Sri Lankan immigration to Canada since Sri Lankans, especially the Tamils, have been primarily dependent on Canada's asylum system to immigrate here. Were it not for the most gullible and generous asylum system in the world, along with its partner in crime the family reunification act, there wouldn't be much of a Sri Lankan Tamil presence in Canada speak of let alone a Sri Lankan one.
I wouldn't be angered by this if I genuinely felt they were real refugees but my researching the matter tells me otherwise. I often wondered why Canada was the target of so many asylum claims from Sri Lanka yet witnessed very little from places like Darfur or Rwanda. The simple explanation is that real refugees do not have the relative safety to wait around at a specified spot in their home country for their government issued passport to arrive in the mail. Nor do they have the financial means to buy a plane ticket, or a spot on a smuggler's boat, to travel half way around the world to make an asylum claim, passing through safe third countries en route.
Real refugees are constantly on the move. That's why they are called displaced persons. The only time they are at a fixed address for a determinant amount of time is when they make it to a refugee camp. Yet, thanks to the Singh decision, these are the one's we ignore to favour the gate crashers. That's the whole irony of Canada's asylum system. By allegedly being made compassionate it is least compassionate to those in need of real sanctuary.
If one good thing can be said about the abuse of Canada's asylum system by Sri Lankans it is this: they have demonstrated to us the fiasco that is our refugee system and the need for the government to return to a process by which claims are vetted abroad. Inland claims should be turned away if they arrived by way of a safe third country. Failing that they should be detained until their status is determined and not released before that which is what we do now. Inland claims should be discouraged but since this is how lawyers and refugee advocacy groups get paid expect resistance by them at the cost of those who need our help the most.