SA 345 Review - Midterm 2 - Refugees and Security
Week 7 + 8: Refugees
Canada Took Fewer Conservatives derease # of refugees accepted
2012 to 2011 26% decrease
No Syrian refugee plan
Security issues in refugee camps
Capping of 3 refugees accepted from private sponsors
Overhaul of Asylum system
Gov asking more private groups to take on more refugees done
to save tax payer $
Behrens Bill C 43 - Faster removal of Foreign Criminals Act
Double punishment bill
without full citizenship you can be
o deported if criminally convicted
o not allowed to see and examine reason and context of
o threat of family removal
o if convicted of a 6 month or more sentence prior to
new bill can still get deported
o No access to appeal
o family also at risk of deportation
Bill C 43 mostly effects long term residents
People suspected of crime OUTSIDE of Canada also at risk
no proof needed for conviction
Immigration minister can deny entry to Canada to anyone for a period
of THREE years based on undefined 'public policy grounds'.
Wales MV refugees thrown in jail and subject to mandatory detention upon
Mental illness arises from trauma
many seekers have psychological issues and detention
Family physicians usually first to deal with claimants
Levine * Hungarian claimants usually not treated as refugees because they are
viewed as a safe country.
Hungarian claimants 'not creditable'
mostly because they are from a democratic country
Recent years - a resurrection of the Nazi party supporters creating fire
bombings in Romas. Hungarian authorities are failing to investigate
racially motivated crimes. Readings:
Fassin - Truth of More people presenting themselves as refugees. Creating raised
Asylum doubts about claims and validity.
Growing suspicion of asylum seekers fuelled by increasing stories of
deception and forgery. Thus, hospitality is changing for economic
Questioning the Truth:
Few forged and faked cases of refugees. These few cases are used to
represent all refugees and used as examples.
Material interests (economy) vs Geneva Convention (humanitarian)
You get to stay if youre companionate.
Rousseau - IRB Immigration & Refugee Board (IRB) hear the stories of refugees and
determine whether they will be allowed into Canada or not. Listen to 2
claimants each week, for 3 weeks straight with 1 week to make a
Weight and access evidence. Usually reject people based on lack of
documentary evidence. Believe stories are implausible cause they lack
IRB members lack the psychological and cultural knowledge. Often
force the refugee claimant to recall painful memories. Often times
emotional responses are interpreted as lack of credibility. As a coping
mechanism refugees may laugh at sad events, this is normal
psychologically but IRB does not have the knowledge to know this.
Culturally, IRB member may not know about the customs and what is
normal in the refugees country of origin. Particularly in the perceptions
of time and space. They have a warped concept/ image of what daily
life is like. Inability to appreciate cultural norms means an inability to
appreciate cultural styles of narration.
Refugee needs to convey the image of a CONVENTION refugee to be
accepted. Make a sob story to be heard and accepted.
Claimants have a hard time communicating story and information due
to lack or resources and trauma.
PSYCHOLOGIST predicts behaviour prior to hearing thus causing
problems for the refugee when he/she's actions or responses do not
follow the prediction.
Atmosphere of hearings effects refugee. Creates high stress and fear,
even aggressive behaviour. Lecture:
Refugees typically flee via land to neighbouring countries
Ex. Germany Iran (Germany has high acceptance rate)
81% of the worlds refugees were hosted in DEVELOPING countries
Substantial increase in child refugees (50% persons of concern under 18)
Definition of Refugee:
Person outside of his/ her home country and w ho has a well founded fear of
PERSECUTION for reasons of:
o Race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political
o Defined at Geneva convention (1951)
o Canada also accepts those based on gender, substantial danger of torture, risk
to their life or at risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.
Narrow guidelines/ criteria
Must be privately or government sponsored
can't send them back to country of origin or where they maybe in danger
o Can't really say you are being persecuted by Taliban because they aren't really a
People who have sought international protection and whose claims for REFUGEE
STATUS HAVENT BEEN DETERMINED
Refugees have certain RIGHTS. Asylum seekers don't
People who are waiting to become refugees and have put in a claim
Internationally Displaced People (IDPs)
People or groups forced to leave home for reasons of conflict, generalized violence,
human rights, violations, natural/ human disasters.
Have not crossed an INTERNATIONAL BORDER
EX: forced to leave vancouver because of an earth quake and you cross to live in calgary
People not considered as citizens of any state under national law
people with no documentation
nobody wants you and you belong no where
Refugees in Canada:
Host of international and national conventions that govern how people are to be treated if seek
refuge in Canada. Singh Decision (1985) refugee claimants entitled to basic standards of rights protection
(basic level or protection)
Asylum from persecution = human right
Church is the only place government cannot go into (only sanctuary against state action)
Global Cooling Towards Refugees
Industrialized states becoming less welcoming. Making it harder for refugees to reach their
EX: Canada makes sure you have documents before boarding a plane boat etc.
Refugees are easy scapegoats - powerless
Usually thrown in jail upon arrival
Top 5 countries coming to Canada for help: China Syria
Most are 'queue jumpers'
Required to make claim in the nearest or first country they reach
People who use smugglers are less likely to be refugees in need of protection
Harsh policies will stop smugglers and asylum seekers arriving by boat
REMEMBER Refugees have little to no resources
o May not be able to travel via conventional means cause they fled at the middle
of the night
o no money or documents
Canadian Refugee System:
Two ways to become a refugee and get protection from Canada.
Resettlement program (Gov or private sponsor)
Refugee claim process
Protected gain right to work and study but no right to family reunification unless theyre a
permanent resident (need to apply for this).
Refugees either go back by themselves (voluntary repatriation), go to a neighbouring country or
are resettled (via governments or private sponsorship).
Two groups - government and private sponsorship. A new category is when government and
private sponsors collaborate to bring a refugee over.
To quality you must satisfy:
Eligibility (from from a country with lots of refugees, fit a convention refugee definition)
Admissibility (no crime and in good health)
Successful establishment (will fit in Canada)
No prospect of another durable solution (no other options)
Financial support (gov, private or your own money) Will receive one year's worth of financial assistance or till they can support themselves
Refugee Determination System
Person applies within Canada - 'negative refugees'
Person can not make a claim if:
Recognized as a refugee in another country
Came through a safe 3rd country (USA)
Inadmissible on basis of security, serious criminality, member of organised criminal
group or violation of human or international rights.
If refused you can apply for judicial review to the federal court. If unsuccessful you face
prospect of removal (you need to hire a lawyer). If you get rejected after that you can apply for
a humanitarian and compassionate claim but that is only for permanent residents.
Trauma exposure to war, torture, violence, targeted prosecution, forced labour, forced
migration and family separation. Health Risks - significant physical and mental issues.
Acceptance as a refugee
Processing times (years)
Poverty, Being in limbo, racism, family reunification (long time), negative public reaction, don't
No work experience, pushes into poverty.
Cant get going until you get status (limbo) no documents.
Recent Legislative Reforms
Bill C - 31: Protecting Canadas Immigration System Act - December 2012
15 days from arrival to apply for refugee status
minister can deem you an 'irregular arrival' - means youll be detained for 1 year without
warrant and review (EX: MV Sun - not a passenger boat)
can lose right o stay in Canada if thinks you dont risk persecution in your home country
anymore. Citizenship is the only protection.
Minister alone gets to decide which countries are 'safe' if youre from these countries
your refugee claim is deemed less important and have less rights (DCO's - designated
countries of origin - safe country list). Key Concerns
Designated Countries of Origin (DCO) politizcizes situation?
Timelines are unrealistic and impossible to submit a proper claim; not fair
Emphasis on punishing refugees - 'irregular arrivals' can be locked up for a year
regardless of innocence
Failed claimants have 15 days to file an appeal; NO APPEAL FOR IRREGULARS or if you
are from a DCO
Conditional permanent resident - minimum 5 years delayed family reunification.
Over use of detention
Too much emphasis on security concerns
Safe 3rd country - unfair to make refugees make claims in countries with low acceptance
Blocking refugees from travelling places puts them at risk. EX: Canada stopping them
from boarding planes etc.
Trafficking is becoming a concern - women and children trafficked to Canada fall
between cracks in the system. Treated as criminals.
Film - Seeking Refuge
Your story must be consistent with the countries information. You need to prove that youre
from _________ country at hearings.
All decisions are made by ONE member. You have to get lucky in order to be accepted. You
answer questions for 1 hour and 30mins straight. If your hearing was not enough you are asked
for written submissions. This means the member was not fully convinced. You are given time to
obtain your documents.
Even if you have the same stories one of you may not be admitted (the brothers).
Kedar the Blind Algerian
He was rejected and took sanctuary in a church. Stayed for two years in Quebec. He owned a
shop in Algeria with his brother but left due to civil war and went to the USA, integrated a bit
but had to leave the US cause of anti Muslim attitudes. Week 9 - Borders and Security
Yargas - Life as an Guy left the Philipines at the age of 12 to live with his
undocumented Immigrant grandparents. His mother sent him there by using a human
smuggler. His grandfather purchased fake documents and a
green card for him. His mom was not able to come to the states
complications with family ties and documents.
Many people accepted and helped him along the way. He faces
many issues now that he has come out.
Gollom - Omnibus bill Integrated cross border law enforcement Operations Act
American officers allowed to cross border into Canada
Have same power to enforce act of parliament as a
member of the RCMP
For small boat crews only right now - land agreement to come
USA Officers allowed to come to Canadian soil if they're under a
'hot pursuit' for land.
Pratt - Who gets pulled over Border guards pull people over based on racial profiling,
experience and 6th sense.
Three types of Searches:
- Routine questioning (baggage search)
- Strip or skin search (private room after secondary inspection
with permission of supervisor)
- Body cavity search
Different meanings for reasonable suspicion in court and at
Opinion and experience > Truth and hard facts
Indicators include body language, style of speech, clothing,
perfume and past hit rates for a group of people. Sometimes
officers are rewarded for having high hit rates and they have
There are also informal networks and communications. Like
word of mouth. This is used because sometimes information is
not put onto the databases fast enough.
Officer needs 4 - 5 indicators to justify reasonable suspicion. For
example, I did it based on my training experience and these two
indicators. Reasoning is backed by hit rates and statistics. CYA Theory - Cover your ass Theory.
Ameeriar - Gendered South Asian and Muslims dont travel to the stats post 9/11 thus
Suspect they do not feel its effected them too much.
Muslim women seen as in need of saving. Officers think they
seek refugee because they get beat by their husband. They are
seen as innocent. BUT if they do not fit this image they become
illegal and labelled a suspect. This image is shaped by the media
and high profile cases such as Roohi Tabassum who was beat
and left Pakistan because she feared being killed since she had
touched another mans hair.
Officers pull women because they think they are doing them a
Key strategy in controlling immigration
Canada/ USA Border - Economic concerns + Issues
Sometimes called International Boundary - longest NON MILITARIZED border in the world
USA has been fortifying borders significantly (EX: Mexico - USA fence)
Canada + USA taken steps designed to keep closer tabs on who and what crosses the
border while avoiding as much as possible making life harder for people and businesses
that have grown used to travelling quickly and easily between the two countries.
HARMONIZATION of policies:
o Nexus program
o Shared facilities
o Integrated Border enforcement teams (IBETS)
o Pre Inspections (pass customs on Canada before entering the US)
Police allowed to cross border and continue investigation
2 sets of border issues
o Bottlenecks at borders: physical infrastructure and need to have pre clearence
trade at border
o New Compliance requirements that companies must meet in order to cross
Increase in security is not increasing efficiency.
Controlling International Migration - Security Concerns + Issues
Border control is about controlling the flow of people. Borders are beyond control and little can
be done. Developed c