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Wave of Canadian Refugees Possible This Spring

Written By The Shapiro Law Group on January 27, 2012

After authorities identified a suspect in the recent Los Angeles area arson cases as a refugee from Canada who lost a bid for asylum there, the spotlight on Canadian immigration policy intensified.

According to a recent Los Angeles Times article by Kim Murphy, Canada’s government has begun “rolling up the welcome mat” to asylum seekers who previously enjoyed a fairly generous chance at legal entry into Canadian provinces.

In addition to the recent changes in administrative interpretations of asylum, Canada has decided to launch a “balanced refugee reform” program in June that will speed up the asylum review process, slice through a backlog of pending decisions, fund deportation efforts, and likely send many people packing.

Reportedly, Canada is granting about 40 percent of asylum petitions now, and must move through a backlog of more than 42,000 cases while stepping up efforts to deport an estimated 124,000 people who have already been denied asylum but are still residing in Canada. At least 44,000 of them have ignored orders to leave and are facing arrest by the Canadian Border Services Agency.

Some immigration watchers have speculated that the changes in policy and the stepped up enforcement could result in a wave of immigration into the northern states of the U.S. this spring.

If you or one of your family members is a resident of Canada in need of immigration assistance, you may call our offices at (847) 564-0712 for an appointment and/or check out our Website for more information about our services.