Today’s Toronto Sun newspaper breaks a story about a secret government survey that reveals that the majority—71 per cent of those surveyed—of successful Tamil refugees travel back to Sri Lanka. This, of course, raises questions about the legitimacy of refugee claims made by Tamils entering Canada.
It’s a small survey to be sure, but the results are disturbing. To think that a significant proportion of a single community may have obtained residency in Canada by fraudulent means should be disturbing to other Canadians who value their residency/citizenship rights and privileges.
Nothing is ever self-evident when only one side of an argument is heard, however, one can deduce from the fact that, when a refugee can return freely to a homeland for vacations, visiting relatives and the like, it is unlikely that person’s refugee claim was legitimate. After all, successful refugee claimants must prove they are in danger of torture or risk to their life or some other such criteria that shows they will face persecution or worse in their home country if forced to return there.
This does not seem to be a situation in which former refugee claimants go back to their homelands many years after their successful claims—such as after a change in government as occurred in many East European nations after the fall of communism. This is a much more recent occurrence.
Armed with this knowledge, will our Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) take a tougher stand on current and future Tamil refugee claimants than last year when the IRB accepted 85 per cent of their claims? I doubt it.
I seems that everyone in the world is born with a right to come and live in Canada. To exercise that right, all that is necessary is for one to show up at our border with a plausible reason why one cannot return to one’s homeland—and the reason doesn’t have to be true…it just has to sound true enough.