Judge Strikes Down Law Limiting Refugee Claims

Judge strikes down law limiting refugee claims

CBC News
Last Updated: Friday, January 18, 2008 | 9:25 AM ET

Ottawa is appealing a court ruling that has the potential to significantly increase the number of people making refugee claims in Canada.

On Thursday, a Federal Court judge struck down the contentious Safe Third Country Agreement between Canada and the United States.

The agreement, which came into force in 2004, requires would-be refugees to make their claims in the first of the two countries in which they land. That has prevented claimants from landing in the U.S. and crossing the border to make an application in Canada, significantly reducing the number of claimants.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada said the number of claims filed at its land border offices in the U.S. dropped by 40 per cent in the year after the change.

Under this agreement, the U.S. is considered a safe third country. But in November, Justice Michael Phelan found the U.S. does not meet international requirements for protecting refugees or conventions against torture.

On Thursday, the judge went a step further, ruling the agreement would end on Feb. 1. But Citizenship and Immigration Canada spokeswoman Karen Shadd-Evelyn says the government will appeal, seeking a stay of the judge's decision until a higher court settles the issue.

When the agreement was put in place, the government said the aim was to end “asylum shopping.”

But the Canadian Council for Refugees, the Canadian Council of Churches, Amnesty International and a Colombian asylum seeker living in the U.S. filed a lawsuit against the agreement in Federal Court. The groups cited Maher Arar's deportation to Syria and subsequent torture as an illustration of the treatment refugees could face from U.S. authorities in the post-Sept. 11 era.

“Unfortunately the Canadian government, like many governments, is looking for ways to reduce the number of refugees that claim protection here,” Janet Dench, executive director of the Canadian Council for Refugees, told CBC News.

Canadian Newspaper and Magazine Articles (Some British articles are included)

January 2008

January 18, 2008: Judge Strikes Down Law Limiting Refugee Claims

January 18, 2008: Cross-Dresser Gets Second Shot At Refuge

January 16, 2008: Refugee Concerns Behind Travel Status Delay: China

January 12, 2008: Help On Way For Illegal Workers?

January 11, 2008: Toronto's “Road To Health” Report On Schools Is Flawed**

January 11, 2008: Illness Does Not A Refugee Make**

January 11, 2008: In Search Of The 'Reasonable'

January 11, 2008: Arrested At Funeral Home, Gang Member To Be Deported

January 10, 2008: Singh Case Tests Border Agency's Strength**

January 9, 2008: Feds Looking Into Fake Refugee Claims From Mexicans Working In Toronto

January 5, 2008: Travel Document Class-Action Suit Jumps First Hurdle

January 4, 2008: Court Gives Go Ahead For Immigration Class-Action Lawsuit

January 2, 2008: Canada Readies To Give U.S. Deserters Refuge

January 2, 2008: Canada Affected By Human Trafficking

December 2007

December 27, 2007: Ottawa Criticized For Charging Refugees For Flights

December 26, 2007: Bilingualism Goal 'Probably' Won't Be Met: Lord

December 22, 2007: Churches Come Tumbling Down**

December 20, 2007: Canada Makes It Easier For Children Adopted Overseas To Become Canadian Citizens

December 19, 2007: Apostle Of Mayhem

December 19, 2007: Saskatchewan Fastest Growing Province As Canadian Population Passes 33 Million

December 19, 2007: Why We Should Count Canadians Abroad

December 18, 2007: Alleged Remark Stirs Ire Of B.C. Delegation

December 17, 2007: Protestors Fail To Support Disabled Refugee Claimant

December 14, 2007: Feel Like A Sucker? Flawed Refugee System Leaves Canadians With Little Confidence

December 13, 2007: Let Singh's Supporters Set Him Up Financially–In India

December 13, 2007: Mulcair Wades Into The Accommodation Debate

December 12, 2007: Terror Group Founder Rallying Behind Paralyzed Refugee Claimant

December 11, 2007: Globe's Marina Jiminez On Future Of Multiculturalism

December 6, 2007: Province Withholding More Documents On N. S. Immigrant File**

December 6, 2007: Political Parties Clash Over How To Attract Immigrants

December 5, 2007: More Quebec Immigrants Speaking French

December 5, 2007: Ministry, School Board In Conflict Over Refugees

December 5, 2007: A Minority On The Island

December 5, 2007: French Still An Abstraction In Much Of Canada**

December 4, 2007: French Decline Bad News For Quebec, Group Says**

December 4, 2007: Flood Of Immigrants Straining Canadian Cities**

December 4, 2007: Flood Of Mexicans Delays Other Refuge-Seekers

December 4, 2007: Environment Report Says Urban Sprawl Strangling Southern Ontario**

December 4, 2007: 86% Of Immigrants Go To Three Provinces

December 4, 2007: Asia, Mideast Immigrants Take Lead In Canada: Census

December 4, 2007: Canada's Foreign-Born Population At 75-Year Peak

December 2, 2007: Immigration Numbers To Be Put Under Microscope


November 29, 2007: Alleged Human Smugglers Arrested By The RCMP In Two Separate Cases

November 29, 2007: 11 Indicted On Human Smuggling Charges

November 29, 2007: Federal Court Strikes Down Third-Country Refugee Agreement**

November 29, 2007: Foreign Workers Exploited, Says Alberta Federation Of Labour

November 29, 2007: Immigrants Would Be Easier To Absorb In A Sovereign Quebec

November 27, 2007: We're Afraid To Say No: Teachers**

November 27, 2007: Bogus OECS (Organization of Eastern Caribbean States) Refugees In Canada

November 27, 2007: Gov't Misled Nova Scotians On Immigration Fees

November 23, 2007: Muslims Worry About 'Tarnished' Image

November 21, 2007: Accommodation Road Show Rolls Into Montreal

November 21, 2007: McGuinty Gov't Calls On Ottawa To Meet Its Commitments To Newcomers

November 21, 2007: Minister Passing Buck On Immigration Audit

November 20, 2007: Visiting Cubans Defect

November 20, 2007: Mother Denies Son Had Wife

November 19, 2007: Compounding Immigration Mess

November 18, 2007: Arctic In Peril –Who's Guarding Our Back Door?

November 16, 2007: Canada Rebuffs 2 U.S. Deserters

November 15, 2007: Bouchard, Taylor To Address The Media

November 14, 2007: Where Does Metro Grow From Here?**

November 14, 2007: “You'll Get The Country You Deserve.” **

November 12, 2007: Herouxville's Open Letter To Stephen Harper

November 12, 2007: Secret Evidence Allowed In Deportation Cases

November 12, 2007: Ottawa Population To Hit 1.13 Million By 2031

November 12, 2007: Filipino Linemen Fill Calgary Jobs

November 10, 2007: Florida Ends Shuttling Of Refugees To Canada**

November 8, 2007: Multiculturalism Losing Ground In Canada

November 7, 2007: Quebec Doesn't Need Reasonable Accommodation Debate: Harper

November 7, 2007: Why Microsoft Loves Richmond, B.C.**

November 7, 2007: Controversial Ship Allowed To Leave N.B. Port

November 6, 2007: Motion To Ask For Refugee Help

November 6, 2007: War Brides' Status Iffy

November 3, 2007: 2007 Annual Report To Parliament On Immigration

November 3, 2007: Tories Choose Expediency Over Canada

November 2, 2007: Sri Lankan With History Of Violence Gets To Stay In Canada

November 2, 2007: Canada Set To Boost 'Family' Immigrants

November 2, 2007: Mexican Envoy On Labour Mission


October 31, 2007: Canada Lifts Requirement For Czech, Latvia Republics

October 30, 2007: In Defence Of Herouxville—Quebec Isn't Swinging Right. Muscular Mono-culturalism Is Swinging Left.

October 30, 2007: Canada's Border Porous Despite Boost In Technology, Auditor Finds

October 30, 2007: Quebec Frets About Its French Language, Culture

October 30, 2007: Montreal A Threat To Survival Of French: Lawyer

October 29, 2007: Job Program Fuels Fraud Fears

October 27, 2007: Scandal Too Hot For Government To Handle

October 27, 2007: Border Towns Face Security Crackdown

October 26, 2007: Visa Fraud In Punjab

October 26, 2007: Bitter Refuge: After 3 Years, Very Little About Canada's Safe Third Country Agreement On Refugees Makes Sense

October 26, 2007: Nova Scotia Immigration Officials Grilled Over Business Mentoring Program

October 26, 2007: U.S. Official Says Idea Of Security Fence At Canadian Border Isn't Dead

October 24, 2007: Herouxville Councillor Among Friends At Meeting

October 24, 2007: Quebec Town Defends Controversial 'Code Of Life' For Immigrants

October 20, 2007: Canadians Want Illegal Immigrants Deported

October 20, 2007: Brokers Pressured Immigrants To Take Unhelpful Mentorships: Lawyer

October 19, 2007: Deny Quebec Citizenship To New Immigrants Who Don't Learn French: P.Q.

October 18, 2007: Nova Scotia Minister Defends $60 Million Immigration Boondoggle

October 18, 2007: Florida Ads Aimed To Stop Refugee Flow

October 18, 2007: Foreign Student Jailed For Document Deception

October 18, 2007: Imam Giving Up His Bid To Stay, Lawyer Says

October 17, 2007: Phoney Nannies Scheming Their Way Into Canada

October 17, 2007: Multiculturalism Under The Microscope

October 17, 2007: Officials Arrest 43 Asylum Seekers Near Quebec-Vermont Border

October 16, 2007: Tories Target Specific Ethnic Voters

October 16, 2007: “Dancing Santa” Loses Plea To Stay

October 16, 2007: Supporters Of Disabled Man To Present Anti-Deportation Petition And Hold Rally

October 15, 2007: Commission To Look Into Quebec's Future

October 15, 2007: Cold Realities Greet Mexican Immigrants

October 15, 2007: Health Care A Hidden Cost, Immigrant Families Learn

October 14, 2007: “Phantom” Residents To Lose Status

October 11, 2007: UN Upbraids Canada For Sending Claimants Back To U.S.

October 11, 2007: Worker Shortage Leaves Crops To Rot

October 11, 2007: Employers Urged To Think Ahead

October 8, 2007: Miscommunications Led To Arrest, American Refugee Advocate Says

October 6, 2007: Giving Peace A Chance In Muslim Suburbia

October 6, 2007: Giving Peace A Chance In Muslim Suburbia

October 5, 2007: Toronto Mayor Warns City Can't Handle Refugee Influx

October 1, 2007: McGuinty Has Cash For Immigration: MP


September 29, 2007: Woman Charged With Human Smuggling In Quebec

September 28, 2007: Day Promises “Consequences” For Illegal Refugees

September 27, 2007: Stop Bogus Refugees Before They Get In

September 24, 2007: Mexican Consul Defends Country As Refugee Seekers Flock To Canada

September 24, 2007: New Rules Speed Foreign Workers To Alberta

September 22, 2007: Windsor Braces For Refugee Tide

September 21, 2007: A Submission To The Bouchard-Taylor “Commission On Reasonable Accommodation”

September 21, 2007: Illegal Immigrants Chase False Hope To Canada

September 21, 2007: Terror Charities: Next Week, The Air India Inquiry Will Probe Whether Some Charities Are Fundraisers For Violence

September 21, 2007: Tamil 'Front' Alleged To Have Funneled Cash

September 21, 2007: Wiretaps Snared Money Man

September 21, 2007: For Hezbollah, Cheap Smokes And False Viagra

September 20, 2007: UBC Law Professor Says Human Traffickers Will View The 2010 Olympics As The Biggest Opportunity For Them In Decades

September 18, 2007: Chinese Smuggling Kingpin Wins As Canada Drops Deportation Appeal

September 13, 2007: Nurse Who Can't Speak Hindi, Punjabi Denied Job Interview

September 13, 2007: Canada A Haven For Villains

September 11, 2007: Immigrant Unemployment Most Acute In Quebec

September 6, 2007: Canada Is Far Too Accommodating

September 6, 2007: Sharp Drop In International Adoptions By Canadians Last Year

September 5, 2007: Canada Clears Genocide Suspect


August 30, 2007: Five Genocide Suspects May Be Hiding In Canada

August 25, 2007: Forum Sheds Light On Quebec Youth

August 24, 2007: It Was The Law That Saved Canada

August 16, 2007: Strippers Dress Down Ottawa Over New Rules

August 16, 2007: Canada Looks To Mexico For More Workers

August 15, 2007: Quebeckers' Insecurity Said To Fuel Backlash Against Immigrants

August 14, 2007: The Public Consultation Accommodation Practices Offers Quebeckers Several Participation Methods


October 24, 1990: McDougall Wins Battle To Increase Immigration