L E T ‘ S T A K E O U R C O U N T R Y B A C K –
C O N T A C T Y O U R M P
CBC NEWSWORLD ONLINE
Illegal immigrants begin hearings in B.C. Tuesday
WebPosted Mon Jul 26 22:44:35 1999
VANCOUVER – Immigration hearings begin Tuesday for the Chinese migrants
found off the coast of British Columbia last week.
Immigration officials will decide if the 123 people, being held under
close watch at Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt, will be allowed to go
They were transferred into custody last Wednesday after the Coast Guard
stopped their ship, which was listing off Vancouver Island. It’s
believed the group is part of a human smuggling operation.
Most of the migrants have since applied for refugee status. Under
Canadian law, refugees can only be held for seven days, but immigration
officials want to keep most of them in custody. They say they haven’t
yet been able to confirm their identities.
None of the would-be immigrants had passports or other identification
documents when they were taken into custody.
The RCMP has said all 123 immigrants will be handcuffed when they go to
the hearings. They’re concerned about security issues and potential
weapons found on some of the immigrants.
BY THE WAY – WHAT IS A “POTENTIAL” WEAPON??
contact your MP – contact your MP – contact your MP – contact your MP
TOMORROW MAY BE TOO LATE!
CBC NEWSWORLD ONLINE
Reform MP wants illegal immigrants deported
WebPosted Sun Jul 25 18:14:58 1999
VANCOUVER – West Vancouver’s Reform MP John Reynolds wants the 123
Chinese migrants caught entering Canada last week out of the country
Reynolds says the group of would-be refugees found on a ship off
Vancouver Island were trying to enter Canada illegally and they
shouldn’t be allowed to stay.
Reynolds says he is speaking on behalf of his constituents and that he
has received many calls from Canadians looking for the individuals to be
He says people who spend vast sums to be smuggled from their countries
of origin are not genuine refugees.
It is believed the shipload of Chinese migrants were part of a human
smuggling operation. Last week one of the passengers admitted he paid
$30,000 US for his passage.
Reynolds says Canadian taxpayers shouldn’t foot the bill for the
investigation or for the care of the group, which has been staying at
CFB Esquimalt on Vancouver Island.
An immigration lawyer in Vancouver says, however, that allowing these
people to have the opportunity to claim refugee status is just part of
Canada’s immigration and refugee process, and it has to be followed.
YEAH, WELL – FROM THE IMMIGRATION LAWYER’S POINT OF VIEW, THE MORE CROOKS
CANADA ALLOWS IN, THE BETTER. 123 ILLEGALS CAN BE PARLEYED INTO A NICE
LITTLE SUMMER HOME
MEANWHILE, IN VANCOUVER LAST YEAR, 70% OF CHINESE ILLEGALS
VANCOUVER SUN | Monday 26 July 1999
Early release possible for boat people
Migrants who arrived in a derelict boat off the West Coast
can’t be detained unless they pose a risk.
Chad Skelton Vancouver Sun
The 123 illegal migrants who arrived in B.C. last week could be released
from detention Tuesday as a marathon series of hearings begins at which
Immigration Canada must make a case for keeping them in custody.
Under the Immigration Act, refugee claimants are entitled to a detention
review seven days after arrest in front of an independent adjudicator of
the Immigration and Refugee Board. At that review, immigration officials
can argue to have the migrants detained for another seven days. But,
under the Immigration Act, they must be released unless they pose a risk
to society, are not expected to show up for their hearing or their
identity cannot be ascertained.
Lois Reimer, a spokeswoman with Immigration Canada, said the department
concluded its preliminary interviews with the migrants Saturday with the
assistance of a team of 11 interpreters and is now making arrangements
to begin the detention review hearings. The IRB plans to send four or
five adjudicators to the Esquimalt naval base where the migrants are
Because of the large number of people involved, Reimer said the board
will likely conduct as many as five hearings simultaneously. And because
many of the issues facing the migrants are the same, Reimer said the
adjudicators could rule on several cases at once.
Nearly all of the migrants, who arrived last Tuesday on a dilapidated
fishing boat, have now claimed refugee status.
Vancouver immigration lawyer Carolyn McCool is leading a team of six
lawyers who will represent the Chinese migrants — with the bill likely
to be picked up by legal aid. McCool said Friday that she would seek the
release of the refugee claimants until their cases can be heard.
Refugee determination hearings, including appeals, can last up to two
years — with an average length of about 11 months. During that time,
refugee claimants can apply for social assistance and health benefits.
In January, Immigration Minister Lucienne Robillard released a policy
paper calling for the three branches of the IRB to be folded into one
and to restrict the number of available appeals to reduce the time it
takes to make a definitive refugee determination.
Since last week, the Asian migrants have been staying in the gymnasium
at the Esquimalt naval base, which has been converted into a detention
facility with cots and a barbed-wire fence. About 35 RCMP officers are
guarding the facility.
Statistics provided by the IRB show that the vast majority of Chinese
refugee claimants who enter Canada illegally through B.C. abandon their
claims and can’t be found. Last year, the IRB in Vancouver cleared 602
cases involving Chinese refugee claimants. They allowed 63 claims and
rejected 95 — but 426 (70.8 per cent) either didn’t show up for their
hearings or were unreachable. Most of those who abandoned their claims
are believed to no longer be in the country and have most likely fled to
Immigration officials are still trying to nail down the migrants’
backgrounds, Reimer said. All of the migrants have had their
fingerprints taken, which the RCMP will use to determine if any have
criminal records, either here or abroad.
While the immigration process continues, a criminal investigation is
also under way. Police are still trying to determine who was in charge
of the scheme that brought the migrants to Canada in the filthy cargo
hold of a decrepit ship for $38,000 US each.
The RCMP have now identified 19 people they believe may have been
involved in the smuggling operation. They are being segregated from the
Constable Tracey Rook said police have now interviewed 23 people and
hope to interview the remaining 100 in the coming days. Those interviews
have been taking place in a separate facility on the naval base.
“We’ll be interviewing everybody to determine if a criminal act took
place,” Rook said.
She said it was too soon to say what criminal charges, if any, were
anticipated against those involved.
Meanwhile, the Reform party’s justice critic, John Reynolds (MP for West
Vancouver-Sunshine Coast) called for the migrants to be returned to
“They should be sent back immediately,” he said. “We should sell the
boat to pay the cost of it.”
Reynolds said allowing people who arrive in Canada illegally access to
the country’s immigration process is unfair for those who arrive here
through the proper channels with the correct documentation to apply for
“We can’t afford to have this happen,” Reynolds said. “If people get
away with it, there’s no ending to it. These people are criminals. They
paid money to be knowingly smuggled in somewhere. And we shouldn’t let
criminals into this country.”
He said it also angered him that at a time when RCMP detachments across
B.C. are short-staffed, dozens are being used to guard the migrants.
As the Immigration Act stands now, anyone that claims refugee status is
legally entitled to a hearing, no matter how they arrived here, Reimer
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*ILLEGIAL* IMMIGRANTS SHOULD NOT GET RIGHTS BASED ON THEIR FRAUDS!
WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT!
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