Dear Immigration Reformer:

Last summer when the boatloads of Chinese illegals in the invasion flotilla hit our B.C. shores, the immigration lobby set up a fearful caterwauling about how these sneaks might be genuine “refugees.” We heard about China’s one-child policy, horror stories of forced abortions, religious persecution, and, should we be so inclined to want to remove one of these illegals, we were warned that he/she might face serious problems with the Chinese government on return.

A study conducted for our government has found that all these concerns are false.

Furthermore, as U.S. documentaries have shown, Chinese government officials, far from opposing the exodus, are in cahoots with the illegals and turn a blind eye to the snakehead trade in human beings.

The illegals, who’d paid U.S. $40,000+ to snakehead gangsters to be smuggled here or on to the U.S., were, at best, economic opportunists and sneaks, if not outright co-operants in the snakeheads organized crime.

Armed with this information, we must demand no leniency for the Chinese illegals, who, we predict, will be flooding ashore this summer.

Parliament must use the “notwithstanding” clause to reverse the Singh decision and insist that ALL immigrant or refugee applicants apply and be vetted abroad.

Paul Fromm Director CFIRC

China not jailing many migrants sent back, Fujian mission finds Emigration not discouraged: report

National Post | Friday, April 21, 2000Adrienne Tanner | The Province

VANCOUVER – Government officials in China’s Fujian province are lending tacit approval to the exodus of migrants, a Canadian political advisor reports.

Charles Burton, who travelled to Fujian on a fact-finding mission, found no truth to recent Chinese pronouncements that failed migrants are universally subject to jail terms and fines.

Prof. Burton’s report to the Canadian government about his January findings was initially classified as secret. It was released to the Immigration and Refugee Board this month.

His findings will undoubtedly be a subject of discussion by Elinor Caplan, the Immigration Minister, who is now in China looking for ways to check the flow of Chinese migrants to Canada. She is to visit Fujian province next week.

Last summer, 600 migrants from Fujian came by boat to Canada where they filed refugee claims.

Most claimed they were persecuted for religious beliefs or for defying China’s one-child policy. Only nine have been granted refugee status out of the 454 cases heard so far.

Lawyers and human rights groups have expressed concerns about the treatment of failed refugee claimants by embarrassed Chinese government authorities.

Prof. Burton found that only those migrants “who bring disgrace to the nation” are punished for trying to leave China. “Aside from the issue of maintaining national dignity, there is no incentive for China to restrict emigration.”

Migrants earning overseas wages send valuable foreign currency home to China. Emigration also eases the social effects of overpopulation, Prof. Burton writes.

B.C. lawyers representing the 600 boat people say Prof. Burton’s account has heightened concerns about how their clients will be treated upon deportation.

Zool Suleman, who represents a number of boat people, says last summer’s events caused China great embarrassment. “This group of clients must be viewed very differently than others who have quietly left the country and quietly been returned,” he said.

Prof. Burton, who speaks fluent Mandarin, is on secondment at the Canadian embassy in Beijing from Brock University. While in Fujian, he has met with police, bureaucrats, social workers, religious leaders and unsuccessful migrants.

None of the returnees he spoke to reported being jailed. Prof. Burton also found a higher than average tolerance for a broad range of religions, no forced sterilization and little enforcement of the one-child policy.