The Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, Canada’s immigration department, has declared that it will be removing over 3,000 immigrants from the country. These immigrants will be removed because they gained permanent resident status or citizenship through fraud. Apparently, over the years, many people had taken advantage of Canada’s immigration laws by paying people already in Canada to claim that they had been living in country for a period of time appropriate to grant certain immigration benefits such as citizenship or permanent resident status.
These scams cost the would-be illegal immigrants tens-of-thousands of dollars to gain citizenship or permanent resident status in Canada. Minister Jason Kenney was quoted as saying that there should be no price to immigrate to Canada other than the fees associated with the official process. Kenney is known as being particularly conservative regarding immigration in a country which touts its multiculturalism, a term generally associated with more liberal immigration laws.
Immigration fraud tends to be a difficult problem for government immigration offices regardless of the country. The United States Department of Homeland Security recently released data regarding the removal of illegal immigrants for 2011. Immigration offenses, which constitute illegal entry and re-entry, false claims to citizenship and alien smuggling, included over 37,000 removals from 2009 to 2011. This figure is out of a total of 188, 382 removals over those years. 336-111
Canada’s decision to ship out illegal immigrants naturally draws comparisons to the United States. In the U.S., many people express concern and even anger over illegal immigration and criminal actions taken by immigrants to enter the country. The reasoning goes that if one does not enforce the existing laws regarding proper immigration where does the law-breaking end? However, the United States recently implemented a new policy that allows people who were brought into the United States as children (and who are not necessarily responsible for their own illegal entry) to work legally in the United States. The new policy, called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA, suspends removal proceedings for those who qualify an interesting contrast between the two countries’ policies.
Correctly and legally applying for immigration benefits is of utmost importance because the government does not like to be lied to and is likely to inhibit the entry of any immigrants if they fraudulently applied in the past regardless of the country for which one is applying.