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How to fix the asylum problem

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James Bissett was once head of Immigration Canada. In today's Post he gives a pretty clear view on how to fix the asylum mess. Namely, get rid of the damn lawyers and the appointed refugee boards and turn the job over to professionals like other countries do. We provide a far greater access to our legal system than other countries, including paid legal advise, than the UN charter requires. We've also hugely expanded our definition of 'refugee', well beyond the UN definition.

It is not necessary to have a quasi-judicial body such as the Immigration Refugee Board adjudicate refugee claims. These decisions should not be delegated to a board of politically appointed members responsible only to themselves, and who may, or may not, have the experience, training, or knowledge to render quality decisions about who is or is not a refugee. Furthermore, because it allows unlimited access to its deliberations, it has suffered with backlog problems from its inception and the current crisis is just another example.

In most countries asylum decisions are made by professional refugee officers or judges. They have the background and expertise necessary to make quality decisions quickly. They can be located in various parts of the country thus improving and speeding up the asylum process.

https://nationalpost.com/opinion/how-canada-can-actually-fix-the-migration-mess-on-its-borders

 

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12 hours ago, Sagacious said:

This opinion piece makes perfect sense.

I agree that decisions should not be made by unprofessional people 'appointed' by nepotism. 

That is a serious problem with our system. The criteria that exist are not applied in any consistent way. Personal biases of the appointed adjudicators are rampant, evident in the wildly varying approval rates: Some adjudicators approve virtually no refugees. Others approve virtually all refugees. An incompetent system wildly out of control. 

Needs to be fixed.

I will disagree with one thing he says: 

"It does not include in its definition people fleeing war or natural disasters." 

Then he says:

"The core principle is that a genuine refugee can not be returned to a country that presents a threat to his life or freedom."

That does include war and natural disasters. It has also been interpreted to mean women (and children) fleeing domestic violence, and people fleeing homophobic violence, where their country provides no safe refuge. The key is the evidence they can provide of both the threat and the lack of protection in their country.

He's contradicting himself, and venturing into making the judgements himself. His opinions on that are irrelevant: The decisions should be made by qualified people, as he initially said. 

Edited by jacee

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1 hour ago, jacee said:

I will disagree with one thing he says: 

"It does not include in its definition people fleeing war or natural disasters." 

Then he says:

"The core principle is that a genuine refugee can not be returned to a country that presents a threat to his life or freedom."

That does include war and natural disasters. It has also been interpreted to mean women (and children) fleeing domestic violence, and people fleeing homophobic violence, where their country provides no safe refuge. The key is the evidence they can provide of both the threat and the lack of protection in their country.

He's contradicting himself, and venturing into making the judgements himself. His opinions on that are irrelevant: The decisions should be made by qualified people, as he initially said. 

You're interpreting 'genuine refugee' for 'anyone'. As in thinking it says"The core principle is that no one can be returned to a country that presents a threat to his life or freedom." You're also interpreting that threat broadly. Tens of millions of people live in Iran and Iraq and Syria and Afghanistan. Even so, returning anyone to those countries does represent a 'threat to his life or freedom'. But that does not suggest we should open our doors to everyone from those and similar countries. The policy deliberately exempts people fleeing war unless they are being specifically targeted, as in, for example, Christians or Yazidis. Even then there is a legitimate case they can be returned to goverment controlled territory safely.

The policy was designed for people who have to leave their country and cannot return. Jews fleeing Nazi Germany, for example, or anyone breaking through the Berlin wall, could obviously not go back anywhere in their country without being arrested. Opposition critics of a dictatorial government would be another type of genuine refugee, if they were forced to flee ahead of government arrest. But we can't say, well, there's war in Iraq, therefore all 39 million people are eligible to come to Canada. Or, Iran is a nasty place, so if any of the 81 million Iranians shows up at our border we have to take them in.

 

Edited by Argus

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8 hours ago, Argus said:

The policy was designed for people who have to leave their country and cannot return. Jews fleeing Nazi Germany, for example, or anyone breaking through the Berlin wall, could obviously not go back anywhere in their country without being arrested. Opposition critics of a dictatorial government would be another type of genuine refugee, if they were forced to flee ahead of government arrest. But we can't say, well, there's war in Iraq, therefore all 39 million people are eligible to come to Canada. Or, Iran is a nasty place, so if any of the 81 million Iranians shows up at our border we have to take them in.

Agreed. We simply can't save everyone by relocating them here. In order to help far more than we can house, we can and should, continue to work with other nations to improve the rights and freedoms granted around the world. However, we in the developed world that enjoy affluence along with an abundance of rights and freedoms are largely responsible for a thicker blanket of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that is causing sea levels to rise and people to have to relocate. What is our responsibility on that front? Millions will have to relocate and that is going to cause a whole host of political and military problems. Yet at the same time we still have people clinging to the status quo, exacerbating the costs and problems for future generations. 

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11 hours ago, Argus said:

You're interpreting 'genuine refugee' for 'anyone'. As in thinking it says"The core principle is that no one can be returned to a country that presents a threat to his life or freedom." You're also interpreting that threat broadly. Tens of millions of people live in Iran and Iraq and Syria and Afghanistan. Even so, returning anyone to those countries does represent a 'threat to his life or freedom'. But that does not suggest we should open our doors to everyone from those and similar countries. The policy deliberately exempts people fleeing war unless they are being specifically targeted, as in, for example, Christians or Yazidis. Even then there is a legitimate case they can be returned to goverment controlled territory safely.

The policy was designed for people who have to leave their country and cannot return. Jews fleeing Nazi Germany, for example, or anyone breaking through the Berlin wall, could obviously not go back anywhere in their country without being arrested. Opposition critics of a dictatorial government would be another type of genuine refugee, if they were forced to flee ahead of government arrest. But we can't say, well, there's war in Iraq, therefore all 39 million people are eligible to come to Canada. Or, Iran is a nasty place, so if any of the 81 million Iranians shows up at our border we have to take them in.

 

Agreed.

Each case is unique and evaluated individually.

We need improvements in that process, though, as in my above post. 

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