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Biometric IDs Must for Permanent Residents

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has supported the idea of making biometric IDs an important requirement for permanent residents and also plans to consider an amendment to the present immigration bill. He also added that the country should be doing everything that it reasonably can in order to identify visitors or immigrants and ensure that they do not threaten the security of Canada.

Presently, with biometrics being a good technical tool, it should be applied to both temporary and permanent residents, he said and added that the government was considering amending the bill to ensure it covers permanent residents too. The Bill C-31 would grant citizenship and Immigration the legal authority to collect fingerprints and digital photographs next year, only applies to those entering Canada on a visitor visa, work permit or study visa.

The Bill C-31 would seek to deport refugee claimants, human smugglers and would require some visa holders to turn over biometric data. It would also fast track refugee applications from countries deemed unlikely to produce bonafide asylum claimants and bar those who receive a negative decision from filing an appeal.

People are also of the opinion that the proposed legislation has put too much power in the hands of the minister and raised some concerns. But Kenney put a rest to these concerns stating that the provision will aim to streamline the current two-step process for revoking the status of those found to have obtained their refugee status using fraudulent means and that he is open to amendments that could clarify the situation.

Detaining individuals who entered Canada through illegal smuggling operations and barring bonafide refugees among them from obtaining permanent resident status for five years, were some of the suggestions he rejected. Recently minister Kenney has come under fire for various reasons. Apart from the biometric issue, he also wants more immigration reforms like involving enterpreneurs in choosing new immigrants. Though he insists that this could be a good reform, there are several sceptics who do not agree. Many think this proposal could go against the better interests of Canada.

Under the Provincial Nominee Programme the minister has promised to transform Canada’s economic immigration programme into a fast and flexible system focused on jobs, growth and prosperity. The PNP has also been a major success in spreading the benefits of immigration across the country. For example as many as 5,354 immigrants entered the Saskatchewan province in 2010 when compared to a meagre 173 in 2003.