Critics are speaking out against anticipated changes to the refugee system which are intended to reduce the backlog of 47,300 claimants.
The changes, which are expected to come into effect this December, would force the old claims onto the “backburner” while new claims are assessed, appealed and administered within one year.
“It [the change] will be a gift for claimants with fabricated stories because now they can wait to stay in Canada for as long as possible,” said one Toronto immigration lawyer, who added that genuine claimants will be adversely affected as well.
However Immigration Minister Jason Kenney stands by the move, saying that his department will not be able to evaluate the new rules if they do not allow new cases to go through in advance of others.
“We want to see what’d actually happen under the new system rather than making assumptions and projections, which are a guessing game,” said Minister Kenney. “We are focused on the new system that would hopefully deter bogus claimants from clogging up the system and provide protection to bona fide refugees. It’s our hope that by deterring false claimants in the future that we will be able to continue reducing the backlog.”
Citizenship and Immigration Canada recently made a similar move in the skilled worker immigration class in an attempt to decrease that backlog, which saw some applicants waiting up to seven years for assessment. New applicants are assessed within 12 to 18 months and the backlog has been reduced by nearly half, according to government estimates.
Source: Toronto Star