Weekly Bulletin – 2004 January 28

Three Iranian Immigrants Sue Canada For $4 million

January 28, 2004

Dear Prime Minister Martin and Fellow MP's:

Today, a Vancouver immigration lawyer announced a $4 million suit by three Iranian sisters against Citizenship and Immigration Canada. The three sisters have claimed that delays in having their papers processed resulted in them being tortured in Iran. Details of this case will be made clearer in the next week or so, but already the incident is showing Canadians that the rot in Canada's refugee and immigration policies has reached stench proportions.

At the same time that the suit was made public, the lawyer revealed that the three sisters had been sponsored to enter Canada by their mother. Much earlier, she had applied for and been granted refugee status. In making her claim for refugee status, the mother had stated that she had been abused by her husband. The fact that the woman was even listened to for making such a claim is absolutely absurd. When Canada agreed to sign the U.N. Convention On Refugees, the Canadian signatories would have laughed to scorn the suggestion that the definition of the word “refugee” would ever be extended to cases such as spousal abuse. The original purpose of the “refugee” category was to protect people genuinely fleeing from political persecution. In other words, the extension of the definition of the word “refugee” to such situations is a major problem in Canada's refugee system policy.

The fact that she was granted refugee status is even more absurd. This points to a second major problem in Canada's refugee system. Some of the people making decisions do not seem to have much of a claim on basic common sense. This case is not a gross exception to what is going on. The mother is one of literally hundreds of thousands who have made such claims. According to Mr. James Bissett, the former director of the Canadian Immigration Service (now known as CIS), around 500,000 people have made such refugee claims at Canada's borders since 1989. Canada's immigration industry has repeatedly asseted that accepting these claims is the humanitarian thing to do, but, as Mr. Bissett has pointed out, over a billion dollars is spent annually on these refugee clams while only a pittance is spent on assisting genuine refugees. In other words, the people who really need Canada's assistance don't receive it. Most Canadians support the Canadian government's policy of bringing around 10,000 genuine refugees to Canada each year and most Canadians support the principle of giving generous assistance to people in refugee camps around the world. But most Canadians would not have supported the refugee claim of the Iranian mother of the three sisters who have filed the $4 million suit.

A third and definitely explosive issue is that the people entering Canada under such false claims seem to have almost complete contempt for the Canadian government and for the Canadian people. The fact that such absurd claims as the one made by the mother have become commonplace and have become accepted seems to have emboldened the woman's three daughters to make their own claim. The problem does not end there. Current refugee/immigrant policies have clearly emboldened Canada's immigration industry.Immigration lawyers such as the one who filed this $4 million suit seem to think they can act with complete impunity. This is not the first of such actions by him and others like him. Just a few months ago, he and several other immigration lawyers successfully intimidated Citizenship and Immigration into backing down on proposed changes in immigrant entry requirements.This action virtually guaranteed these lawyers and others an inflow of hundreds of thousands of immigrants whom Citizenship and Immigration has never demonstrated that Canada even needs. To this point, no one in Canada's government has taken measures to correct these absurd situations.

What is going on is absolute nonsense.

Immigration Watch Canada calls upon the government of Canada to call in the wrecking crew. Canada's immigration and refugee policies have obviously been derailed. Canada needs new tracks, a new train and a new direction. Billions of dollars have been wasted every year for many years on senseless immigration and refugee policies. The government of Canada owes Canadians this major corrective action.

Dan Murray,
Immigration Watch Canada