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Canada to reject refugees with claims in other countries

Canada to reject refugees with claims in other countries

A provision slipped into the federal budget bill that prevents asylum-seekers rejected in the United States from making a refugee claim in Canada could have been the death of Yahya Samatar if it was in place four years ago.

The Canadian government proposed changes to its asylum laws Tuesday via a recently tabled omnibus budget bill.

The amendments would essentially allow border agents to reject refugee claims if the migrants had already been turned away from a country that has an immigration information-sharing agreement with Canada, including the USA, U.K., Australia and New Zealand.

The asylum seeker would no longer be entitled to an oral hearing and the claim could not be appealed to an independent tribunal.

In Canada, Samatar received legal aid and was able to prove his refugee claim at an Immigration and Refugee Board hearing. Due to Trump's hard stance on immigration, people who initially meant to make an application in the USA, opted for travelling all the way up north and cross the border illegally into Canada, Global News reported past year.

Border Security Minister Bill Blair says the measure aims to prevent "asylum-shopping".

More than 41,000 asylum seekers have crossed into Canada "irregularly" through unofficial paths along the Canada-U.S. border since early 2017.

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It's based on the premise that Canada's immigration system is similar enough to the USA that if a claim is rejected there it would likely be rejected in Canada, too. A "pre-removal risk assessment" will give protected person status in Canada to someone found to be at risk, "while those not found at risk will be removed faster", Cadieux said.

But officials said it will ease pressure on Canada's refugee system, which has been overwhelmed by a recent flood of migrants arriving via the United States.

"This is really a devastating attack on refugee rights", she said.

It wouldn't apply to people already on Canadian soil.

That the changes were included as part of an omnibus budget implementation bill is even more upsetting to the refugee advocates. "This is going a huge step further in creating another whole category of people who will be denied access to the refugee determination system on an arbitrary basis".

The Conservative party has frequently demanded that the Liberal government keep people from getting into the country to make asylum claims.


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