More Resources Needed For Faster Processing Of H&C PR Applications
Of the more than 40,000 migrants that have entered Canada irregularly in the past two years seeking refugee protection, only 33 per cent of claims have actually been processed. This according to new figures released by the federal government.
Since early 2017, 41,577 migrants have irregularly crossed the border into Canada through a forest path linking New York State and the province of Quebec.
In Canada, these refugee claims are handled by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB), however, there is currently a massive backlog, leading to lengthy delays in processing claims.
So far, just 6,885 migrants that have entered Canada irregularly since 2017 have been granted refugee protection, while 5,650 have been rejected. Tens of thousands of other applications currently remain in a queue and are still waiting to be processed.
Meanwhile, only 866 of the nearly 6,000 irregular asylum-seekers who were denied refugee protection in Canada have been deported. The reason for this is that removal orders can only be enforced once all legal avenues to try to remain in the country have been exhausted. Also delaying the deportation process could be missing travel documents and medical issues.
Refugee claimants might also be eligible for pre-removal risk assessments that will establish if forcing them to return to their home countries would put them in danger. This is an essential process to ensure that individuals are not sent back to their country if new evidence has emerged since their refugee claim was decided.
In addition, families often file a humanitarian and compassionate permanent residency application if they have a child and are eligible for the exemption to the 12-month bar for filing these applications. Unfortunately, these humanitarian and compassionate permanent residency applications can take around 3 years to be decided. In the meantime, even if an application is filed in a timely manner, CBSA can enforce a removal and it will be up to the individual to present a request for a deferral of removal.
The Canadian federal government is also aiming to improve the overall system by allocating $1.18 billion over the next five years to border security and processing claims. However, the government should also allocate more funds to IRCC for the processing of humanitarian and compassionate permanent residency applications so that meritorious application can be decided within a reasonable timeframe. This could also remove the need for families to fight their removal and bring an application to Court for a judicial review to bring forth a stay of removal motion.