Canada’s new Immigration and Refugee Protection Act

Canada’s new Immigration and Refugee Protection Act


Americans unhappy with the new U.S. government policies, especially regarding security and civil rights, may consider what some young conscientious objectors did during the Vietnam War. Why not go to Canada?

People considering this option should make sure they understand the regulations on new immigrants enacted by our neighbor to the north.

The new Immigration and Refugee Protection Act came into effect on June 28, 2002. The new legislation replaces the 25-year-old Immigration Act. While continuing Canada’s tradition of providing a safe haven to people who need protection, the new Act will be tougher on those who pose a threat to Canadian security.

Under the new regulations, Citizenship and Immigration Canada will be authorized to:

l Arrest permanent residents and foreign nationals who have breached the Act;

l Detain any foreign nationals who may pose a danger to the public or who cannot satisfy an immigration officer of their identity; and

l Remove people who are inadmissible for reasons of security, criminality, or violations of human or international rights, including war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Public safety is a priority for the Government of Canada. The new Act reflects this priority and contains key changes to regulations that will increase our capacity to expedite the removal and detainment of security threats. These new or amended measures include:

l Streamlining the removal process by allowing immigration officers to issue deportation orders to foreign nationals convicted of a criminal offense in Canada;

l Establishing clearer grounds for detention;

l Permitting the arrest of people who fail to establish their identity;

l Broadening the provisions on organized crime to include people who engage in transnational human smuggling, trafficking in people or money laundering; and

l Eliminating appeals to the Immigration Appeal Division for people who are security threats or war criminals, people who have committed crimes against humanity, people involved in organized crime and serious criminals.

In enforcing the new Act, Citizenship and Immigration Canada will continue to collaborate with several security partners, including the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service, national, provincial and municipal police, and US/international police and law/border enforcement agencies, to prevent criminals, people involved in organized crime or in human or international rights abuses, and people who pose a security threat from taking advantage of Canada’s immigration program.

For more information on Canada’s new Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, please visit the following sites:

Fact sheets (Citizenship and Immigration Canada):

l Keeping Canada Safe:

l Managing Access to Canada:

l Removals:

l Arrests and Detention:

Other relevant links:

l Citizenship and Immigration Canada:

l Government of Canada’s Safety and Security Web Page:

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