Confessed Fake Refugee Gives ‘Medicine’ to Naive Doctors
This account describes the steps that an Israeli man, his wife and two children followed to apply ( fraudulently ) for asylum in Canada. It is a continuation of a story which we published in November of 2011. See the following for Part 1 : http://www.immigrationwatchcanada.org/2011/11/23/nov-23-2011-lying-our-way-to-canada/
It is intended to alert Canadians to the significant amount of fraud as well as the kind of fraud that many asylum-seekers commit in Canada. The man and his family succeeded in the fraud, but he felt so ashamed of taking benefits that were intended for genuine refugees that he eventually left Canada.
The word “refugee” is often used to elicit waves of sympathy. Most Canadians do not object to giving refugee status to a number of genuine applicants, but that number cannot be limitless. Since 1989, over 800,000 have been processed here. A significant number were fraudulent. Long ago, the fraud should have caused Ottawa to institute regulations which reflected a national wariness of asylum applicants. Instead, Ottawa has bowed to the pressure of Canada’s immigration lobby. This has caused costs and the length of processing time to increase substantially. Most Canadians do not want their generosity to be abused. They also want to limit the cost of caring for fake applicants while due process of their claims occurs.
This bulletin is particularly intended to respond to Canadian doctors and other health care professionals who seem to be unaware of the fraud that many asylum-seekers have committed. The doctors have recently protested Immigration Minister Kenney’s move to deny extra health-care benefits to those seeking asylum in Canada. Mr Kenney has stated that these potential refugees will continue to receive health care, but it will be, in most cases, the same health care that Canadians get, not more.
Confessed Fake Refugee Gives ‘Medicine’ to Naive Canadian Doctors
I am taking the opportunity to brief you about how Israelis as well as people from other countries can commit fraud against Canada’s Asylum-Seeker / Refugee system.
First of all, I will brief you on Israelis. I know the process for Israelis because I was part of it. I’ll then add what I saw about people from other countries.
1. As an Israeli passport holder, you can visit Canada without a Visa. At the port of entry into Canada, you will easily be given a 3-month visitor visa. On the plane from Israel to Canada, an immigration form will be given to you to fill in. When you land at the port of entry, you will have to submit this form to a Canada Border Services Agency officer. A few questions will be asked and then a stamp will be put on your passport indicating the entry date and how long that visa is good for. This is a tourist visa or a visitor’s visa.
2. Once in Canada, you will lodge in a Hotel or a friend’s home to get more information on life in Canada and the advantages of living in Canada as well as how to file a fake refugee claim.
3. Once you have explored the system for some time (1 week or more), you will call the asylum-seeker shelter hot-line and tell the person who answers that you have just arrived from Ethiopia (or from whatever country you think a claim for refugee status will be easy). Sometimes that phone call can be made with the help of an already-integrated refugee who came to Canada in the same way you did.
4. The Hot-line worker will take your details over the phone and will tell you to report to a shelter. When you arrive at the shelter, a social worker will be assigned to you. That person will arrange with the social services for welfare allowances you will get. The social worker will also eventually provide a permanent home for you. You will start receiving a weekly allowance from the welfare office. In our family’s case, it came every Thursday through the shelter. Also, a letter of proof of address will be given to you to open a new bank account, get a library card, etc.
5. You will then go to the Immigration office. In Metro Toronto, that office is in Etobicoke. There, you will file a claim as a refugee. This process involves many formalities and can sometimes take up to two weeks. You will give the address of the shelter where you are lodging. Staying in a shelter means you are in need. A shelter has the stigma of people who need help. However, some of the people in the shelter have a huge amount of money with them.
6. On the day of filing your asylum claim, you will be asked to submit passport pictures of yourself and of any family members in Canada with you. The purpose of the first interview at that office is to ID you and to ascertain where you come from. Soon, an ID document will be given to you. That ID document will state the country you said you are from.
7. You will be finger-printed. Then another interview will be arranged with an immigration officer to decide whether or not to refer you to the IRB ( Immigration and Refugee Board ). During that interview, you will be asked how you entered Canada. You will ignore the truth and say an agent collected money from you, brought you here and dumped you. You will never say you just landed from a safe country like Israel because you probably would not be granted asylum if you say you are from such a place.
8. You will never use the passport you used to enter Canada. Real passports will be kept in a friend’s home and you will present yourself without any documents at all. In 99.9% of cases, you will be referred to the Immigration and Refugee Board which will determine whether you qualify for refugee status. You will be referred because you have told the interviewer that a smuggler took your ID. There is a zero chance that Canada will return you to a country where you might not be a native. To be safe, Canada prefers to have the hearing process during which the IRB will determine your future. If you are not credible, the IRB will decide where to return you.
9. The interview with an immigration officer is very short and simple because the officer has very little power over someone who has no genuine papers or who is not telling the truth. After the interview, you will be told your case has been referred to the IRB for a hearing.
10. You then will be given papers which will enable you to have a free medical to assess your health.
11. After the medical, a PIF (Personal Identification Form) paper will be given to you and you will be told to fill it in before your hearing. You are now done with the Immigration office. You now have to wait for a hearing date. Notice of that will be sent to you by mail.
12. All this process will take about 1 month or a bit more—-depending upon how fast your medical exam is sent to the CIC office.
13. During this period, the social worker will ask you to look for an apartment of your own. The shelter provides only temporary lodging.
14. You then make a rental arrangement with a landlord who will give you a letter which states that the landlord promises to give you a place to live on condition that you are able to pay the rent. The landlord knows that if you have a note from the social services department, he is sure to get the rent on time. The landlord’s letter must be taken to the social worker at the welfare office. Once you have found an apartment, you will leave the shelter.
15. An appointment will be made for you at the welfare office (Ontario Works—-OW) to meet a case worker who will process all your information, send money to your landlord to pay your rent, and arrange for your and your dependants’ medical care, etc to be paid for as long as you stay in Canada.
16. During the interview with the case worker, you will be asked to declare if you have some money, assets or any properties in the country from where you came or whether you are expecting any money or assets. Obviously, the answer you will give is always NO.
17. You are then awarded a free LAO (Legal Aid Ontario) lawyer to help you fill in the PIF and all documents sent to you in future.The PIF (Personal Identification Form ) forms were given to you at the immigration office during the period that you dealt with them. You have been given time to compose a story and submit it, so you will explore a few cooked stories and choose one for yourself. Most of the time, the lawyer has the PIF in his/her computer in a PDF format and will just fill in the form with your name and the names of other family members—whether they are with you or not with you. The lawyer will add your cooked story to the form and then will submit it to the IRB and wait for a hearing date.
18. Your PIF describes your past (10 years back). It will state how and why you came to Canada; the route you took; the names of family members (mother,father and others) ; your previous school ; places you have visited for the past 10 years. Your true story is the opposite of the cooked one. You will use the cooked one because it has proved to be successful for someone who is already in Canada. You will have to buy the story from that person. I bought mine from an Israeli lady who charged me $400 for it. You then change the names, places and dates and insert your name and places and dates that suit your situation. The Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) officers change regularly and those who are there for a while, can’t remember or pay attention to a PIF that they have heard before.
19. During all this time, you will be enjoying free medical and many other benefits. For example, if you have kids (I had two of school-age), they will receive free education. Your rent, etc. will be paid.
20. The IRB may say they approve just over 50% of claims but the truth is most people from Ethiopia, Eritrea and other remote African countries are fast-tracked and approved, sometimes without a hearing. I believe the acceptance rate is much higher for African people who come empty handed. The 50% figure, I think, applies to others, often to those from safe countries. Your chances of getting accepted as a refugee improve greatly if you complain of torture in the country you said you just landed from even though, in fact, you may never have lived there. Even if you did live there, you were not at all involved in politics. After your acceptance, you can now file for permanent residence in Canada. With the acceptance letter, you will file for all the tax benefits that are available to you and start enjoying LIFE in Canada.
OTHER FRAUD COMMITTED
Many asylum-seekers enter from EU countries and do the same as our family did. For example, when we lived in Scarbourough, Ontario, a family with 4 kids came from Germany after they had lived there for 25+ years. They claimed that they had just arrived in Canada from Afghanistan. They got accepted easily at their hearing and are now in Canada with PR cards. Also, an Ethiopian family lived in Italy for years, were actually citizens of Italy but entered Canada and claimed they had just arrived from Africa. Eventually, they too were accepted.
It is very hard to distinguish between a true and a fake refugee but I will always say that, from my experience in Canada for over 4 years, I found out that most refugees I met were not genuine refugees.
I am not talking of only Israelis like me, but people who were from either Iran, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Eritrea and many more countries. As I said before, many of these people had been accepted as refugees in safe countries and lived in those safe countries like the US, Germany, Holland and others.
While the refugee hearing proceeds strictly according to what the refugee is saying, it is very difficult to determine who is a bogus refugee and a real one unless the hearing officers have information from a direct source.
In my case, I never knew anything about the asylum-claim process until I got to Canada. But many refugees are crooks and know the system long before they arrive here. I can say that I met many accepted refugees in Canada and as many as 95% were fake. I lived in Scarborough in a building called Amaz Properties.
When my ex-wife’s brother came to Canada, the lawyer who was assigned to him sent him to a doctor to assess his health. My wife’s brother told the doctor that he had suffered torture. This was a lie. He had left Ethiopia and gone to Israel at the age of 4 and had never been in Ethiopia since then. He had some scratches on his head and on one leg from playing soccer but he claimed the army in Africa beat him up. I accompanied him as he went to doctor after doctor. He got x-rays and everything free. And, of course just like many others, he was accepted for asylum in his hearing.
However, he left Toronto because I was leaving and no one could help him or go to places with him. When he left Canada, he never told OW ( Ontario Works ) that he was leaving. Instead, he gave his bank card to his cousin and told him to collect all the monthly payments (welfare, etc. ) and send them to him in Israel. I tried to persuade him to cancel those payments, but he did not agree. Finally, I informed officials at OW (Ontario Works) and the payments were cancelled.
Another thing, which many Canadians may not know about, is a special diet form which asylum claimants can fill out. This allows them to pretend they need special food and to collect extra money at the end of the month. Most people will get that form and pay $40 to a doctor in Toronto. He will fill in the form for you to collect money from Ontario Works for this special diet. He may say you are lactose intolerant or have other dietary peculiarities. The amount of extra money varies considerably and depends on what the doctor wrote on your form.
I know of many other abuses of the system. For example, in the PIF (Personal Identification Form) which everyone gets, there is a space which asks the names of Family Members. Many asylum-seekers write the names of fictional family members so that later they can give those names to non-related people, sponsor them to come to Canada and charge those people for sponsoring them.
There are many more stories that I personally observed or heard about when I was living fraudulently in Canada. Now, when I think of them, I feel ashamed that I took advantage of Canada’s naive generosity and I feel very sorry for real refugees. I believe my actions decreased the money that was supposed to go to genuine refugees. People like me, with our lies, re-directed that money to ourselves. I am therefore sorry that my lying has taken from someone else’s mouth. Sorry and sorry again.
That is why I gave an apology letter to Canada and the Canadian people. To compensate in Canada for the shame I felt about what I had done, I also volunteered in a hospital. But I still feel guilty about what I did and am glad I confessed what I did and left Canada.
Long Live Canada and Canadians.