Canada Asks Czech Gov’t To Intervene Against Migration Mediators

Canada asks Czech govt to intervene against migration mediators
published: 21.04.2009, 18:55 | updated: 21.04.2009 19:02:05
Kanada d esko, aby zakro ilo proti organizaci migrace

Prague – Canada has asked the Czech government to take steps against mediators of the emigration of Czechs' overseas, the Canadian embassy in Prague said today in reaction to the press information that the departures of Czech Romanies for Canada are organised and have an economic subtext.

The information has been published by the Czech daily Lidove noviny, according to which some former Czechoslovak citizens who now live in Canada are involved in organising the departures.

“Last week the Canadian government called on the Czech government to take resolute measures against unscrupulous mediators as it believes that it is them who are behind the sharp increase in the number of applicants for a refugees status, who have been arriving in Canada,” the embassy told CTK today.

Lidove noviny, nevertheless, says the mediators stay in Canada.

Jason Kenney, the Canadian minister for citizenship and immigration, last week called on the Czech Republic to intervene against the agencies that may be behind the new wave of Czech asylum seekers, mostly Romanies, arriving in Canada.

Last year, 853 Czech citizens applied for Canadian asylum.

A total of 570 Czechs applied for Canadian asylum this January and February, according to Czech Ombudsman Otakar Motejl.

Lidove noviny writes that people linked to Canadian authorities enrich themselves by organising Czech Romanies' departures for Canada. They reportedly advise the applicants to “blow up” their experience with Czech racism at interviews with Canadian authorities.

Radmila Locher, representative of the Czechs and Slovaks' association in Canada, said the Czech applicants for asylum include people abusing the Canadian immigration system.

Locher said she has no information about the Czech Romany emigration being organised, She said, nevertheless, that some of the immigrants openly admit economic motives behind their departure from the Czech Republic.

Despite the increase in the number of applications for asylum, Canada is not planning to reintroduce visa requirements for Czechs, the embassy said.

In October 1997, Canada reintroduced visas for Czechs in reaction to an increase in the number of Czech asylum seekers. It lifted the visa requirements ten years later.

The countries that have visa-free relations with Canada are aware that the visa duty could be reintroduced for them unless they meet the relevant conditions, the embassy said today.

Nevertheless, not even a country's failure to meet one of the conditions means an automatic visa reintroduction, the embassy said.

Author: TK