A look at the percentage of refugees being granted status
A recent Access to Information and Privacy (‘ATIP’) request obtained from the Immigration and Refugee Board (‘IRB’) revealed vast disparities in refugee claims and in recognition rate across decision-makers in 2015.
In 2015, some decision-makers rarely granted refugee status. E. Robinson (6.5%, 31 decisions) and D. McBean (7.9%, 38 decisions), G. Moreno (27.3%, 22 decisions) and D. Young (32.9%, 79 decisions). Others granted refugee status in most of the cases, M. Chevrier (70.0%, 50 decisions) and F. Ramsay (67.8%, 59 decisions) and in the new system J. Waters (98.5%, 65 decisions) and T. Shecter (93.0%, 43 decisions).
Furthermore, data shows that some countries that are designated as “safe” produced many positive refugee determinations in 2015. It is difficult to understand how such countries can reasonably be designated as “safe”. For instance, Hungary which had a 78.2% recognition rate in 2015, and which produced 169 successful refugee decisions (involving 504 individual claimants, mostly Hungarian Romani).
This year’s data also explained that many refugee claimants continue to be denied access to the appeal of their negative refugee decision at the Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) of the IRB and are ineligible for automatic stays of removal pending judicial review at the Federal Court. This includes large numbers of claimants who transited to Canada via the United States – even though one’s route to Canada has little to do with whether one has a well-founded fear of persecution.
Finally, while substantial variation in recognition rates persist, it should be noted that no decision-makers in 2015 who made 20 or more decisions denied every single claim they heard. It is worth considering whether this change relates to the shift to civil servant decision-makers (rather than political appointees as was the case prior to December 15, 2012).