More than 15,000 foreign nationals are on Canada’s deportation list, but some can’t be removed because their home country won’t take them back.
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) confirms some countries either delay or refuse to repatriate their citizens who are here illegally, but will not divulge which ones as it might “impact diplomatic negotiations.”
The removal list includes rejected refugee claimants and those deemed inadmissible because of criminal background, a potential threat to public health or safety, or risk to national security.
Canada is one of the several countries taking a harder line against resistant countries as the global migration trend continues.
Brian Lee Crowley, managing director of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, believes Canada should be pushing back hard against nations which aren’t “playing by the rules.” He said transparency is key to retaining integrity and public confidence in the immigration system.
Aris Daghighian, an immigration lawyer and executive member of the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers, called it “frankly offensive” to name specific countries because it would stigmatize all members of that population.
“That creates the impression that some countries are offloading their unwanted residents on us, and we would more readily get rid of those populations if we could. I think that would be the underlying implication in naming countries that won’t take back their residents,” he said.
The European Union is also taking steps to deal with resistant countries, including negotiating “readmission” agreements.
In Canada, the number of deportations has declined dramatically in the last five years, from 18,992 in 2012 to 7,364 in 2016. The CBSA did not provide an explanation for the decrease, other than to say there are fluctuations from year to year.
The list of 15,237 foreign nationals currently under orders to leave Canada is topped by Chinese (2,066), Indian (1,029) and American (977) citizens. It includes nationals from 180 countries, as well as 209 stateless persons and 28 whose citizenship is not captured in the CBSA system.
Canada’s removal numbers are small relative to the U.S., where the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) carried out 240,255 removals in 2016.
“International law obligates each country to accept the return of its nationals ordered removed from the United States,” he said in a statement to CBC News. “The United States itself routinely co-operates with foreign governments in documenting and accepting its citizens when asked, as do the majority of countries in the world.” (CBC Toronto News)