Canada: Liberals end ‘unfair’ policy that penalized refugees from so-called ‘safe countries’ - PressFrom - Canada
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CanadaLiberals end ‘unfair’ policy that penalized refugees from so-called ‘safe countries’

12:50  17 may  2019
12:50  17 may  2019 Source:   thestar.com

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So instead of ending its work after three years, UNHCR has been working ever since to help refugees . The largest portion of UNHCR staff are based in countries in Asia and Africa, the continents that both host and generate the most refugees and internally displaced people.

Immigration and Refugees Minister John McCallum says the Liberals want to reduce the big backlog of parents and grandparents who seek to rejoin children That legislative package created two classes of refugees , those from so - called safe countries , and others. It also created a new category it called

Liberals end ‘unfair’ policy that penalized refugees from so-called ‘safe countries’© Ryan Remiorz A group of asylum seekers arrive at temporary housing facilities after crossing into Canada at St. Bernard-de-Lacolle, Que., in May 2018.

The Liberal government has killed a controversial Harper-era initiative that did not afford all refugees the same rights and instead penalized those who came from so-called “safe countries” like the United States.

Starting immediately, Canada will remove the tight timeframe for their claims to be heard and let them appeal possible rejections, as well as grant them the right to work immediately and receive health care — benefits previously bestowed only on asylum seekers fleeing from war-torn countries and corrupt regimes.

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So we are going to help them,” the president said. In fact, the United States accepts tens of thousands of Christian refugees . The order also stops the admission of refugees from Syria indefinitely, and bars entry into the United States for 90 days from seven predominantly Muslim countries linked to

So, the reasoning goes, quotas should be proportional to the weighted sum of population size and GDP. The distribution key is strongly regressive and unfair towards poorer states. With all due respect, Cameron’s so called leadership, first with the Italian ask for aid, and later with the migration

“The system is unfair and treats people differently based on nationality,” Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen told the Star in a phone interview Thursday. “The policy hasn’t worked. It was meant to introduce efficiency, but it has created the opposite effects. It’s time to go.”

Liberals end ‘unfair’ policy that penalized refugees from so-called ‘safe countries’© Paul Chiasson Ahmed Hussen, minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship, called refugee reforms brought in by the Harper government “unfair.”

The move by Ottawa follows several Federal Court decisions over the years that have chipped away at the core provisions of the so-called “safe country” policy introduced in 2012 by Stephen Harper’s Conservative government to target rising asylum claims from Eastern Europe and Mexico. The government established a list of safe countries and created a faster processing and removal system for claimants from these nations.

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Trump's travel ban has been met with protests and criticism across Europe. But many European countries are also becoming increasingly hostile towards refugees .

Aside from the perception of Germany as a safe and prosperous country with liberal asylum laws In January 2017, 129.000 refugees from the top eight sending countries were officially employed in The IMF’s 2016 assessment called for further policy actions “to promote a successful labor market

The Liberals’ decision to eliminate the safe country list, to be made public Friday, officially strikes down the last remaining planks of their predecessor’s controversial revamp of the refugee asylum system.

The original reforms aimed to deter “bogus claimants” whose lives weren’t in danger, but who came to Canada for economic opportunities. However, the changes failed to stem the flow of migrants and the Conservatives did not invest the necessary resources to manage the new system.

Refugee claims from these countries were not being processed any faster, said Hussen, and added additional burden to the asylum system that was further stretched over the past two years as a result of a surge of claimants crossing into Canada from the U.S.

“We are getting rid of the last piece of the policy that is responsible for creating the legacy backlog,” said Hussen. Under the safe country regimen, refugees from the list were given limited time for claims to be heard, had restricted access to appeals and health coverage, and faced quick deportation — which the court has ruled violated the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

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WATCH: Europe is not alone it its efforts to stem the flow of refugees . Canada has tried, by designating some countries as “ safe countries of origin.”. That’s supposed to lower the number of asylum seekers from supposedly safe places, such as Slovakia and Hungary, but the numbers are actually increasing.

A refugee is someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war or violence. When people flee their own country and seek sanctuary in another country , they apply for asylum – the right to be recognized as a refugee and receive legal protection and material assistance.

Critics have long noted that people from so-called safe countries can still face persecution at home due to sexual orientation, ethnicity and religion, and for a variety of reasons their countries can fail to protect them. They also complained the statutory timelines to process safe country claims were unreasonable and created chaos and further backlogs because the previous government did not put in enough resources to let the refugee board do its job.

The safe country list initially included 23 countries and has since been expanded to 42, including the United States, Czech Republic, Hungary and Mexico.

Hussen said improving the efficiency of the asylum system has always been part of his mandate since being appointed immigration minister in 2017. Under his watch, an independent review of the system was completed, an asylum management board was established to oversee the system, the legacy backlog was cleared and additional resources were pumped in to boost the refugee board’s processing capacity.

The removal of the safe country list, however, has no impact on the bilateral Safe Third Country Agreement with the U.S., which bans refugees from third countries coming through the United States and seeking asylum in Canada at the official ports of entry. These so-called irregular migrants can still seek asylum in Canada if they manage to sneak in and meet exemption requirements — and be processed like all refugees.

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Refugee status is an official decision made by the country providing asylum or an international Refugees posed a global crisis after World War II. The end of the war didn’t end the suffering of For example, resentment of Germany after the war was so strong that many countries drove out ethnic

Refugee crisis can refer to movements of large groups of displaced people, who could be either internally displaced persons, forced displaced people, refugees or other migrants.

In 2018, the federal government invested $74 million over two years to hire 64 refugee judges and 185 support staff to handle the ballooning backlog, which reached 74,000 cases as of the end of March. As part of the 2019 federal budget, Ottawa has added more resources to boost the board’s operation to allow it to process up to 50,000 asylum claims and 13,500 appeals a year by 2021.

Immigration officials said only 12 per cent of asylum claims submitted from Jan. 1, 2013 to March 31, 2019 were from citizens of the designated safe countries.

Nicholas Keung is a Toronto-based reporter covering immigration. Follow him on Twitter: @nkeung

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