Under a new bill, certain offences could send a permanent resident back to their home country without a hearing. These include impaired driving causing bodily harm, theft over $5,000 and cultivation of marijuana.
Under the proposed Removal of Serious Foreign Criminals Act, permanent residents convicted of a serious crime will not be eligible for a record suspension, also known as a pardon. The government will also be allowed to bypass the usual admissibility hearing before issuing a deportation. This means that a convicted person would no longer have an opportunity to have their deportation reviewed.
A representative from Canada Border Services Agency said that removing the admissibility hearing for permanent residents “significantly streamlines the current process which means faster removals and cost savings to taxpayers.”
However, the definition of a serious crime is broad — if a permanent resident has been convicted of a crime carrying a maximum penalty of ten years or more or has been given a sentence greater than six months, they could be sent straight home.
Ten crimes that could send landed immigrants home:
- Impaired driving causing bodily harm
- Impaired driving causing death
- Cultivation of marijuana
- Trafficking of marijuana over 3 kg
- Theft over $5,000
- Robbery without a firearm
- Possession of a restricted weapon with ammunition
- Assault causing bodily harm or with a weapon
- Fleeing police
- Using or possessing a stolen or forged credit card
Even though the federal government has always had the right to strip permanent residents of their landed immigrant status, recent legislation has made it easier. Some immigration advocates say these laws cast too wide a net and could send landed immigrants who have spent their whole life in Canada back to a country they have no ties.