CBSA faces obstacles in fight against crooked immigration consultants

The challenge of implementation from CBSA President Luc Portelance:

Over the last six years, the Public Prosecution Service of Canada has accepted 22 cases, with 13 resulting in guilty convictions and several others still making their way through the courts, the memo adds.

In 2013-14, the border agency opened 40 investigations into consultant fraud — the highest number in the last six years.

“Most of these cases are still under active investigation,” the memo says.

However, consultant fraud cases are among the most time-consuming and resource-intensive investigations, Portelance notes.

In August the border agency laid four charges against an Edmonton consultant who allegedly provided her clients with forged documents — charges that came three years after the agency received a complaint against her.

Obtaining evidence to prove intent of a crime often includes several search warrants, production orders, interviews and surveillance operations, Portelance says in the memo.

“The focus on complex cases creates a significant pressure on (border agency) time and resources, and statistical reporting often does not truly demonstrate the significant amount of work being undertaken at a given time,” it says.

“Additionally, obtaining evidence of consultant fraud continues to be a challenge.”Immigration applicants are “often hesitant” to report consultants, as they were either complicit in the misrepresentations or they remain convinced their consultant can help them gain status in Canada, Portelance says.

“Many applicants fear removal from Canada as they did not acknowledge using a representative for a fee or consideration.”

CBSA faces obstacles in fight against crooked immigration consultants (pay wall)

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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