Canada, U.S. join forces to keep foreign criminals out

Immigration Minister Chris Alexander. (REUTERS/Chris Wattie)

Immigration Minister Chris Alexander. (REUTERS/Chris Wattie)

Daniel Proussalidis, Parliamentary Bureau

, Last Updated: 2:13 PM ET

OTTAWA -- Canada is tightening the screws in its evaluation of immigration and refugee applications, setting up a new information-sharing system with the United States.

Under proposed regulations published Saturday, Canadian and U.S. authorities will share the biographical information of immigration, refugee, work permit and visa applicants with each other by November.

Canadian officials say the biggest benefit will be "an increase in the number of identified and prevented ineligible refugee claimants, and a decrease in the volume of crime as a greater number of known criminals who would have otherwise gained access to Canada would be denied entry."

A Citizenship and Immigration Canada analysis predicts that taxpayers will save around $42 million over the next decade in lower costs of detaining and deporting refugee fakers and foreign criminals.

The system will be expanded to include the sharing of applicants' fingerprints by next fall.


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