Government of Canada Introduces the Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act

Posted on 20 September 2015 by admin

Government of Canada Introduces the Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act

Ottawa, June 20, 2012 — 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:

  1. Make it easier for the Government to remove dangerous foreign criminals from our country;
  2. Make it harder for those who may pose a risk to Canada to enter the country in the first place; and
  3. 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.

Building a stronger Canada: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) strengthens Canada’s economic, social and cultural prosperity, helping ensure Canadian safety and security while managing one of the largest and most generous immigration programs in the world.

Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act What will it do?

The proposed legislative changes would result in faster removals of foreign criminals, further protect the safety and security of Canadians, strengthen program integrity, and facilitate entry in some cases to support Canadian interests. These changes are summarized in the table below.

 

From the current inadmissibility regime… To a modernized inadmissibility regime
Further protecting the safety and security of Canadians
1) Eligible individuals may file an appeal to the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) if sentenced to less than two years imprisonment inCanada.

 

Eligible individuals could file an appeal to the IAD only if sentenced to less than six months’ imprisonment inCanada.

 

For example, a permanent resident sentenced to 11 months in jail for sexual assault would no longer be eligible to appeal a removal order.

 

A new bar would be added so that those with a foreign conviction (or who committed an act outsideCanada) carrying a maximum sentence of at least 10 years inCanadacould no longer access the IAD.

2) Foreign nationals who are inadmissible on the most serious grounds have access to humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) provisions to overcome any inadmissibility or other IRPA requirement. Foreign nationals inadmissible on the most serious grounds of security, human or international rights violations, or organized criminality would no longer be able to apply under H&C provisions.

 

For example, a war criminal would be ineligible to request H&C considerations as a way to delay removal or remain inCanadapermanently.

3) Prior to a recent Federal Court of Appeal decision, the Minister of Public Safety was obligated to consider a wide range of factors (including those not related to national security and public safety, such as H&C) when deciding whether to grant a request for relief from inadmissibility (on grounds of security, certain human or international rights violations, or organized criminality). This legislation would codify the court’s decision. The Minister of Public Safety could only take national security and public safety factors into consideration, and not factors such as H&C, when deciding to grant a request for relief from inadmissibility (on grounds of security, certain human or international rights violations, or organized criminality).
4) There is no discretionary Ministerial authority to deny temporary resident status on the basis of public policy considerations. A new authority would allow the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to deny temporary resident status for up to three years on the basis of public policy considerations.

 

For example, the Minister could use this authority in the case of a foreign national who promotes violence against a religious group.

5) Foreign nationals are admissible toCanadawhen travelling without their family member who is inadmissible on any grounds.

 

Foreign nationals would be inadmissible to visitCanadaif the foreign national has a family member (accompanying or not) who is inadmissible on grounds of security, human or international rights violations, or organized criminality.

 

For example, the spouse of a person who is inadmissible for war crimes would be inadmissible even when the spouse is travelling toCanadaalone.

 

See also #1 below in Facilitating entry toCanada.

6) Individuals receive a two-year inadmissibility period for misrepresentation. Individuals would receive a five-year inadmissibility period for misrepresentation as well as a five-year ban on applying for permanent resident status.
Strengthening program integrity
1) There is limited authority to impose conditions on those involved in an immigration application; to verify compliance with conditions; or to set consequences for breaches of conditions. The legislation would allow for regulations which could impose conditions on those involved in an application (e.g. employers or educational institutions), permit officers to verify compliance with conditions, and set consequences for breaches of conditions.

 

2) In cases of individuals who have been reported or ordered removed fromCanadaon security grounds, or who are the subject of a security certificate, it is entirely at the discretion of the officer, the Immigration Division or the Federal Court whether to impose conditions on such individuals, and which conditions to impose. Mandatory minimum conditions prescribed in regulations would be imposed on non-citizens inCanadawho have been reported or ordered removed fromCanadaon security grounds, or who are the subject of a security certificate.

 

The mandatory conditions will ensure consistent monitoring and control of such individuals. The authority of officials or the courts to impose additional or more stringent conditions as deemed necessary would remain.

 

For example, a suspected terrorist would automatically have to report regularly to an officer.

3) Some foreign nationals have contested the legislative authority of the CBSA to require applicants to attend interviews with CSIS. A clear statutory obligation would exist for applicants to attend an interview with CSIS when requested to do so by an officer.
4) Permanent residents may renounce their status through an administrative process. Permanent residents would be able to formally renounce their status through an application process.
Facilitating entry to Canada
1) Foreign nationals are inadmissible for temporary entry toCanadawhen travelling with a family member who is inadmissible on any grounds.

 

Low-risk foreign nationals would be admissible for temporary entry toCanadawhen travelling with a family member who is inadmissible on grounds of serious criminality, criminality, health, finance, misrepresentation or non-compliance.

 

For example, a parent who is inadmissible on health grounds would remain inadmissible and require a temporary resident permit to visitCanada, but the remaining family members would now be admissible.

 

See also #5 above in Further protecting the safety and security of Canadians.

2) Ministerial relief must be requested, but there is no formal process regarding how a request for relief is made.

 

The Minister of Public Safety may grant relief on the Minister’s own initiative, but this authority is implicit.

Inadmissible persons seeking Ministerial relief would have to submit a formal application. The Minister’s authority to grant relief on his or her own initiative, without a formal application, will be explicitly spelled out in the Act.

 

For example, the Minister could use this explicit authority to facilitate the entry of a head of state who would otherwise be found inadmissible if the Minister was satisfied that the decision was not contrary to national interests.

3) Foreign nationals or permanent residents are inadmissible on security grounds for any act of espionage against any democratic government, process or institution. Foreign nationals or permanent residents are inadmissible on security grounds for any act of espionage against Canada or contrary to the interests of Canada.

 

 

Introducing the Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act

 

 

The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act came into force on June 28, 2002. It is Canada’s federal legislation governing immigration and the protection of individuals who are persecuted or in danger. The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act provides a high-level framework that aims to reap the economic, social and cultural benefits of immigration, while protecting the health, safety, and security of Canadians.

The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act’s objectives are achieved, in part, through a set of provisions that govern who is admissible to Canada. These provisions are a shared responsibility between the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and the Minister of Public Safety. Individuals who are considered “inadmissible” to Canada are not usually allowed to enter Canada, either as a temporary or permanent resident. If an inadmissible person is already in Canada, that person may be subject to a removal order and would have to leave Canada.

Individuals may be inadmissible under nine different categories: (1) security, (2) human or international rights violations, (3) organized criminality, (4) serious criminality, criminality (5) health, (6) financial reasons, (7) misrepresentation, (8) non-compliance, and (9) an inadmissible family member. More detailed information is available on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.

There are a variety of ways to overcome inadmissibility in order to enter or remain in Canada. Depending on the circumstances, an individual may be issued a temporary resident permit. Other avenues include individual or deemed criminal rehabilitation, record suspension (formerly called “pardons” in Canada), an exemption from inadmissibility on humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) grounds from the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, and permanent relief from inadmissibility from the Minister of Public Safety.

In 2010 Citizenship and Immigration Canada, in consultation with the Canada Border Services Agency and other federal partners, launched a review of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act’s inadmissibility and related provisions. The purpose of the review was to ensure that officials continue to have the tools necessary to maintain the integrity of Canada’s immigration system. This admissibility review also examined a number of recurrent issues that have surfaced since the implementation of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act in 2002.

As a result of the review, legislative changes are now being proposed in the Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act to make it easier to remove dangerous foreign criminals and make it harder for those who pose a risk to Canadians to come to the country, while removing barriers for genuine visitors.

Top 5 Reasons for Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act

 

Case Crimes Committed Sentences Immigration Appeal Time Lapse
Jack Tran

(Vietnam)

Assault with a weapon, drug trafficking, drug possession, and failure to comply with court orders. Ranging from $100 fine to two years less a day of imprisonment Yes Removal Order: April 2004

Removal: March 2010

 

Nearly 6 years of delay

Patrick de Florimonte

(Guyana)

Multiple assaults with a weapon, assault causing bodily harm, uttering threats, multiple counts of theft, drug possession, drug trafficking, and failure to comply with court orders. Ranging from $100 fine to thirteen months imprisonment Yes Removal Order: October  2007

Removal: Not yet

 

4.5 years of delay and running

 

Gheorghe Capra

(Romania)

Over 60 counts of fraud, forgery, conspiracy to commit fraud, obstructing a peace officer, and failure to comply with court orders. Ranging from two days to two years less a day Yes Removal Order:  September 2003

Removal: January 2009

 

Over 5 years of delay

Cesar Guzman

(Peru)

Sexual assault of a senior citizen 18 months of jail Yes Removal Order: May 2007

Removal: April 2011

 

Nearly 4 years of delay

Jeyachandran Balasubramaniam

(Sri Lanka)

Assault with a weapon, drug possession, drug trafficking, and failure to comply with court orders. 18 months of jail Yes Removal Order: June 2001

Removal: December 2008

 

Over 7 years of delay

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