Im­mi­gra­tion needs fix­ing

Vancouver Sun - - EDITORIAL - Guest ed­i­to­rial from The Cal­gary Her­ald

Canada’s im­mi­gra­tion sys­tem has been far from per­fect for years, but the re­cent cri­sis of refugee claimants walk­ing across the Amer­i­can bor­der into our coun­try high­lights the short­com­ings.

The fed­eral govern­ment says more than 7,000 peo­ple have walked across the U.S.-Canada bor­der into Que­bec since July to claim refugee sta­tus.

The fact the bor­der is so por­ous means we don’t know the ac­tual num­ber of ar­rivals cross­ing into the coun­try, or if some in­di­vid­u­als present a se­cu­rity risk.

Govern­ment doc­u­ments in­di­cate there is an 11-year back­log of 45,000 to 60,000 peo­ple in the refugee pro­gram, ac­cord­ing to Michelle Rem­pel, the Con­ser­va­tives’ im­mi­gra­tion critic.

Eleven years is an un­ac­cept­ably long time — for le­git­i­mate refugee seek­ers hop­ing for peace of mind re­gard­ing their fu­ture, as well as for those whose claims are spu­ri­ous or fall short of be­ing le­git­i­mate.

Cana­dian of­fi­cials need to es­tab­lish the va­lid­ity of refugee claimants’ ap­pli­ca­tions in a timely man­ner, es­pe­cially those of peo­ple walk­ing across the bor­der in an at­tempt to jump ahead of folks who are go­ing through the proper chan­nels.

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