Customs & Immigration

U.S. border rumour debunked

Reports that U.S. Customs & Border Protection officers facilitated migrants’ entry into Canada at a now-closed crossing into Quebec are unfounded, the CPB’s professional services oversight office said November 28. Its investigation into “allegations involving CBP employees transporting migrants to the Roxham Road area […] found no wrongdoing.” [node:read-more:link]

Information chief quits Ottawa

Catherine Luelo, the federal government’s chief information officer since July 2021 after being recruited from the private sector to help accelerate Ottawa’s shift to digital government, has resigned as the bureaucracy struggles with modernization. Auditor General Karen Hogan recently confirmed that thousands of applications used by departments and agencies are outdated due to inadequate support. [node:read-more:link]

Netherlands shifting to right?

Populist politician Geert Wilders said today that he is ready to join the next Dutch coalition government after his right-wing party won an estimated 37 of the 150 parliamentary seats in a general election. Among other things, he has pushed for a referendum to withdraw from the European Union as well as calling for tighter immigration controls and “de-Islamization.” [node:read-more:link]

Finns closing some Russian border points

Finland will shut half of its crossings with Russia late November 17 due to an increase in undocumented migrants whom Interior Minister Mari Rantanen said are being “herded” to the border. Noting that the migrants arriving on new bicycles had Russian residency permits, she said today that the closures would remain in effect for three months while asylum applications are centralised at other locations. [node:read-more:link]

Bureaucracy bows to lawsuit

Evacuating the wife of a Canadian permanent resident out of war-torn Gaza required the threat of a lawsuit. Global Affairs Canada initially said she could not leave unaccompanied by her husband, a Canadian permanent resident. But he was in Vancouver and their lawyer, who filed suit in Federal Court, withdrew it after she was permitted to leave on her own accord. [node:read-more:link]

More Gaza evacuees listed

Some 266 Canadian citizens, permanent residents and family members were added today to the list of foreign passport holders permitted to leave the Gaza Strip. If all were able to cross into Egypt, it would bring the total so far to more than 370. [node:read-more:link]

Foreign worker policy change?

Canada’s temporary foreign worker program could be revised to prevent exploitation of migrants under a system that ties them to a single employer, according to Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Minister Marc Miller. Responding November 7 to accusations by a UN special rapporteur that some workers are “vulnerable to contemporary forms of slavery,” Miller told a parliamentary committee he is willing to examine “a more open form, a more regional form of permit.” [node:read-more:link]

Asylum claims surging

The Canada Border Services Agency processed more than 26,000 asylum claimants at airports in the first nine months of 2023, up 54 per cent from last year’s total. The surge follows a government decision early this year to waive some requirements for visitor visa applicants. [node:read-more:link]

Afghan refugees’ lawsuits

When a Canadian-Afghan claimed discrimination against Afghan refugees by treating them differently than they did Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion, the federal government requested that his case be combined with another. The latest claim, filed in July, is by a former language and culture adviser who served NATO in Afghanistan; two others had earlier said their families also were not being allowed to come to Canada. [node:read-more:link]

Criminals face deportation

The Canada Border Services Agency has confirmed that arrests warrants have been issued for 300 foreign criminals deemed a danger to the public and facing deportation. It also is trying to find more than 37,000 foreigners who may pose a flight risk, may not agree to be questioned or attend an immigration hearing. [node:read-more:link]

Concerns about Belarus

Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Kamiński said today that he and his Latvian and Lithuanian counterparts are prepared to close their common borders with Belarus if a “critical incident” occurs. So, too, would the third Baltic State, Estonia, which borders on Latvia and Russia, and “regardless of whether it is a Polish, Lithuanian or Latvian border, we will apply immediate retaliation.” [node:read-more:link]

Hong Kong immigrant rules relaxing

Effective August 15, the federal government will drop educational requirements for Hong Kong residents seeking permanent residency in the wake of the former crown colony’s latest crackdown on dissidents. Thousands have already settled in Canada but many have not been allowed permanency because it has been more than five years since they graduated. [node:read-more:link]

Security risks let into Canada

Confirmation that 3,314 foreign nationals considered security risks were permitted entry into Canada between 2014 and 2019 erodes trust in the immigration system, NDP immigration critic Jenny Kwan said today. She was responding to a report that they were among 7,141 brought to the attention of Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada by the CBSA and CSIS. [node:read-more:link]

Immigration decision called ‘dubious”

Federal Court Justice Richard Mosley has ruled that the Canada Border Services Agency’s assessment in refusing an elderly Chinese man’s applicant for permanent residency was “dubious” and “over-reaching.” The CBSA had said Liping Geng had trained spies and might be one too, but Mosley (Docket No. IMM-1374-22) has ordered another immigration officer to review his case. [node:read-more:link]

B.C. “suburb” wants Biden’s help

A U.S. town on a peninsula south of Vancouver wants President Joe Biden to help them hire Canadians to fill a labour shortage. The problem is that Point Roberts was effectively cut off by Homeland Security after the 2011 terrorist attacks, making it difficult for U.S. citizens to travel through Canada to access the town for work. [node:read-more:link]


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