Dear Immigration Reformer:

No one seriously doubts that a veritable flotilla of invasion ships filled with Chinese illegals are headed this way.

The following report makes that clear.

Also, note the federal government weasels intend to expand the definition of refugee so broadly that we’ll attract yet another horde of self-identified invaders.

Paul Fromm CFIRC Vancouver Sun Monday 27 March 2000

Illegal migrant review calls for automatic detention

A parliamentary committee also recommends establishing a permanent detention centre in B.C. Petti Fong Vancouver Sun Anticipating another wave of illegal migrants in coming months, a parliamentary committee has recommended the setting up of permanent detention facilities in British Columbia and the automatic detention of anyone who arrives in Canada as part of an organized trafficking operation.

The committee, which includes MPs from all five parties, also recommends other procedures including faster removal of illegal migrants, stiffer penalties for human smugglers and persuading airlines to refuse boarding to any passenger not carrying proper travel documents.

The committee began its review in the fall when Canada’s immigration policies came under fire following the unprecedented arrival of illegal Chinese migrants in dilapidated boats.

During the summer, 590 migrants from China’s Fujian province arrived on B.C.’s coast. They quickly filled up detention facilities on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland, forcing authorities to reopen the old Prince George prison.

In all, 500 of those arriving by boat claimed refugee status. Most remain in detention pending immigration hearings or await deportation.

Committee Liberal member Sophia Leung of Vancouver-Kingsway said changing one law won’t solve the problem.

“We have to look at the issue through different measures, raising awareness and putting a clear and strong emphasis that we’re tackling the problem.”

While no one can predict how many illegal migrants will arrive in Canada in the coming months, Leung said it’s certain that more attempts will be made.

Leung said illegal entry can be discouraged by detaining migrants who refuse to cooperate or who have deliberately destroyed their identification.

The committee has also proposed making sponsors of immigrants financially accountable if the immigrant later proves to have a wrongful claim.

Leung said increased funding for overseas enforcement will also help prevent illegal migrants coming to Canada. She noted that for the first time, an RCMP official will be based in Beijing in the near future to combat human smuggling through cooperation with Chinese law-enforcement officials.

Some of the committee’s recommendations are not new and have already been rejected by the government.

A 1998 government report called for an end to patronage appointments to the Immigration and Refugee Board but the immigration department has not made that change. The move to a merit-based board is also being recommended by the standing committee. Whether the standing committee’s report will result in any changes is questionable.

Committee vice-chair Reform immigration critic Leon Benoit, said Sunday the government is set to ram through its new Immigration Act, which he said will be introduced next week.

“It’s farcical that we just tabled the recommendations last Wednesday and on March 30, they will bring up the new act,” said Benoit. “It’s disgraceful to all the committee members and more importantly, to all the witnesses who brought their expertise to the committee.”

Benoit, who obtained a leaked copy of the Immigration Act, said despite what the committee tried to accomplish with streamlining the system and toughening the measures, the government will subvert that process by expanding the definition of refugees.

The draft Benoit received indicates the government will include a new category for “people in need of protection,” which will widen the current classification and allow claims for refugees who fear becoming the “object of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.”

Through that measure alone, Benoit said more people will arrive in Canada and claim refugee status.