Pandemic likely to drive a surge in immigration fraud, border agency warns

Not all that surprising:

The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to drive an increase in immigration fraud and human smuggling as desperate migrants try to get into Canada, says a strategic intelligence report prepared by the Canada Border Service Agency.

The report warns that economic downturns and increased poverty abroad caused by the pandemic will prompt more people to resort to irregular methods to come to Canada.

“With more people looking to immigrate, there is likely to be an increase in fraud in all immigration streams via the use of fraudulent supporting documentation to bolster visa or permanent resident applications, fraudulently acquired travel documents to be able to board flights to Canada and misrepresentation,” says the report, dated June 2020.

Source: Pandemic likely to drive a surge in immigration fraud, border agency warns

Canada must process applications for children’s immigration in six months: advocates

Of note:

Ottawa should establish a standard of six months to reunite newcomers to Canada with their children, as many refugee and immigrant families now wait years, says a national advocacy group.

The long wait is unacceptable, especially for children who are separated from both parents, said Janet Dench, executive director of the Canadian Council for Refugees.

She said parents who have been forced to flee as refugees end up in many cases leaving their children with a grandparent, another family member or even a neighbour in their home countries.

Source: Canada must process applications for children’s immigration in six months: advocates

Rights groups call for oversight of Canada border agency

Another due process pressure point on the Government:

Civil society groups proposed a model Thursday for independent oversight of the Canada Border Services Agency, following the deaths of two immigration detainees in March.

Recent revelations that the CBSA had fully implemented just one of the 19 recommendations from a coroner’s inquest examining the 2013 death of Lucia Vega Jimenez at the Vancouver airport are another indication that the border agency is in need of oversight, said Josh Paterson of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association.

The CBSA is the only law enforcement agency in Canada that has no independent oversight body, noted Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers president Mitch Goldberg, even though officers generally have more power and less training than police.

An oversight body for the CBSA would need to be independent of political influence and have legal power to both investigate and monitor CBSA activities, said Canadian Council for Refugees president Loly Rico. The council has proposed a model for a CBSA oversight body, recommending that it have the ability to receive and review complaints from citizens and non-citizens about their interactions with the CBSA, compel CBSA to share information, and make recommendations to the Public Safety Minister.

Canada has been criticized by three United Nations agencies in the last four years over its treatment of immigration detainees, said Alex Neve, secretary-general of Amnesty International Canada. Some of the practices criticized by the United Nations included the practice of keeping children in detention, the lack of a limit under Canadian law on the amount of time an individual can be detained, and the country’s extensive use of immigration detention, when it should be a last resort, Neve said.

“That is a very strong signal that Canada’s immigration detention system is broken,” he said, adding that it is “unconscionable” that there is no independent oversight of CBSA.

Source: Rights groups call for oversight of Canada border agency