‘Protect refugees and vulnerable populations,’ Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers urges Trudeau

CARL’s letter proposes specific statutory amendments to immigration and refugee law

‘Protect refugees and vulnerable populations,’ Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers urges Trudeau
Maureen Silcoff

In a recent letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers listed several recommendations to promote a more efficient immigration and refugee system.

The CARL’s proposals for upcoming session of parliament were divided into three parts, which were directed to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and the Minister of Justice and Attorney General.

 CARL recommended that the immigration ministry amend and review of provisions of various statutory enactments, including the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the 2019 Budget Implementation Act, and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, with the aim of promoting efficient and fair procedures, removing rarely used provisions instituted by the previous Conservative government, repealing medical inadmissibility provisions and preventing family separation.

The group of refugee lawyers also emphasized the importance of prioritizing desirable objectives such as legal aid funding for immigration and refugee matters, family reunification, and the creation of a viable pathway to citizenship for children under the child protection system.

The lawyers’ letter also said the safety minister should create an independent oversight body for the Canada Border Services Agency and establish a “humane and efficient” system to process refugee claims. The CARL also pushed for the amendment of provisions in relation to security and inadmissibility, as well as the development of community-based release options.

“Develop a public policy regarding the referral for long-term permanent residents with deep roots in Canada, including those who immigrated as children, as previously existed,” wrote CARL President Maureen Silcoff.

Lastly, the CARL urged the justice minister to co-operate with provincial and territorial governments, as well as with the immigration minister, in order to develop a more sustainable legal aid model in support of these initiatives.

Silcoff said CARL would like to work further with the government on the issues, adding that voters in the recent election “rejected the politics and rhetoric of fear about irregular, but legal, migration.”

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