The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, introduced legislation today to expedite the removal of foreign criminals from Canada and to enhance the safety and security of Canadians.
The Harper Government is putting a stop to foreign criminals relying on endless appeals in order to delay their removal from Canada during which time they continue to terrorize innocent Canadians,” said Kenney “Canadians are generous and welcoming people, but they have no tolerance for criminals and fraudsters abusing our generosity.”
The Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act focuses on three areas which would:
- Make it easier for the Government to remove dangerous foreign criminals from our country;
- Make it harder for those who may pose a risk to Canada to enter the country in the first place; and
- Remove barriers for genuine visitors who want to come to Canada.
Through the Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act, the Government is delivering on its commitment to streamline the process to deport convicted criminals by limiting their access to the Immigration and Refugee Board’s Immigration Appeal Division. This will reduce the amount of time certain criminals may remain in Canada by up to 14 months, reducing their chances of committing more crime on Canadian soil.
Another change in the proposed legislation would ensure that foreign nationals who are inadmissible on the most serious grounds – security, human or international rights violations, or organized criminality – will no longer be able to delay their removal by applying for a program that is meant for cases deserving of humanitarian and compassionate consideration. This change is consistent with the government’s no safe haven policy.
Other amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to protect the safety and security of Canadians include a new Ministerial authority to refuse temporary entry in exceptional cases, and increased penalties for those who try to cheat the system.
In contrast, the legislation will facilitate the temporary entry of low-risk individuals who would have previously been refused entry because one of their family members was deemed inadmissible for non-security reasons, such as health.
“These measures are tough but fair,” said Minister Kenney. “We want an immigration system that is open to genuine visitors, while at the same time prevents the entry of foreign criminals and denies them the ability to endlessly abuse our generosity.”
These amendments, which would update the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and our immigration program, complement the recent measures in the Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act as well as the Action Plan on Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness.