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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lawyers and academics challenge Harper immigration record

From the Toronto Star:

In an unusual move, a group of Canadian lawyers and legal academics are urging voters not to support the Conservative Party in the May 2 election.

“The Conservative Party has been telling visible minority immigrant communities, which it calls the ‘ethnic vote,’ that it is improving the immigration system,” said the group in a statement released Wednesday. “A review of their record shows the contrary.”

The group, made up of leading immigration lawyers and professor across Canada, said the Conservative Party has misled the public, especially immigrant voters, by making twisted statements about the state of Canada’s immigration and refugee system, in order to win newcomer votes.

Among the group‘s claims:
• The annual visa quotas for sponsored parents and grandparents are down — not up — by 44 per cent from 20,005 in 2005 to 11,200 in 2011. It now takes nine to 30 months longer to process these sponsorships, depending on the visa post.
• The backlog of skilled worker applicants waiting for a decision has gone up — not down — from 487,000 in 2005 to the current 508,000.
• Instead of getting tough on smugglers, new legislation introduced by the party target the victims of smuggling, the refugees, by mandatory detention, denying permanent residency and making it more difficult for refugees to reunite with their families.
• The party claims to be sympathetic to genuine refugees who do not flee their countries illegally, but just announced plans to cancel the only program allowing Canada to protect refugees applying from within their own country.


Read the entire article here

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