Canada Immigration Tribunals can’t cope with influx of migrants but Quebec needs more workers. Legal Aid Australia challenges fairness of fast track assessment system.
The numbers of people seeking refugee status in Canada has grown tremendously in the past few months. Statistics show that more people have walked into Quebec since August 2017 than did during all of 2016 across the entire US-Canada border. If the refugees had turned up at a Canadian border crossing, they’d have been sent back. If however they cross illegally into the country, they must be given a hearing within 60 days. The problem – there aren’t enough lawyers to deal with the backlog. In the meantime, the vast numbers of immigrants are affecting public opinion. In a recent poll four in ten Canadians believed that the country was accepting too many immigrants.
Despite the pressure of illegal migrants on Canadian immigration tribunals, in the province of Quebec, the low unemployment rate means that employers are having trouble finding employees. So much so that some restaurants have been forced to close down or reduce hours for lack of workers. Experts are now calling for higher immigration quotas.
Legal Aid Australia has highlighted that the country’s fast-tracked refugee assessment process is unfair to asylum seekers who get to the country by boat. An Iranian migrant who claimed asylum in Australia on the grounds that he had converted to Christianity, was rejected by the Department of Immigration. The decision was upheld by the Immigration Assessment Authority. Legal Aid Australia is now challenging the fairness of the system in the high court.