Feds moved to revoke 227 refugees for lying
By BRYN WEESE, Parliamentary Bureau
The Toronto Sun
Last Updated: August 26, 2010 8:09pm
OTTAWA—-In the past 20 years, while more than 41,000 Sri Lankans have been granted refugee status in Canada, the federal government has only applied to send a fraction of the country's Sri Lankan diaspora packing because they think the applicants lied.
The figures, released by the Immigration and Refugee Board this week, highlight the high acceptance rate of refugees from Sri Lanka an average of 81% since 1989 and the similarly high rate of revoking status the government thinks were given on bunk evidence or testimony.
Of the 227 applications to revoke, or “vacate” refugee status from Sri Lankans in Canada, 74% (167) have been approved by the IRB.
Government officials have said recently it's extremely hard to revoke refugee status on the grounds the applicant lied because ultimately all that matters in the judicial hearings is whether the applicant thought they were in need of protection when they did.
Since 1989, at least 41,179 Sri Lankans have been granted refugee status in Canada, with more than 4,000 arriving in both 1991 and 1992.
On Aug. 13, 492 Tamil migrants arrived by boat on British Columbia's coast, all claiming refugee status.
The government has concerns Tamil Tiger terrorists are hiding among the group and that boat they arrived on, the MV Sun Sea, is part of a human trafficking operation, the profits from which could be supporting terrorism back in Sri Lanka.
A recent government non-scientific survey of 50 Tamil refugees in Canada of which 31 had been granted status found a high percentage (71%) had returned to Sri Lanka for business, vacations or to sponsor a family member.
The Canadian Tamil Congress said many of those trips were likely taken during the four-year ceasefire in the civil war from 2002 to 2006.
Currently, the Tamil migrants are being processed by officials from the Canada Border Services Agency.