Feds crack down on bogus asylum seekers

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney speaks to the media on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Oct 31, 2012....

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney speaks to the media on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Oct 31, 2012. ANDRE FORGET/QMI AGENCY

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:25 AM ET

OTTAWA - Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has designated 27 countries -- including 25 in the European Union -- whose refugee claimants will be treated differently than applicants from other countries.

The new rules kick in Saturday and will expedite the processing of claims from countries the government says do not normally produce refugees.

Kenney says the new rules will weed out bogus claims faster and that claimants from the designated countries will continue to receive an oral hearing on the merit of their claims before the Immigration Refugee Board.

Failed claimants can appeal to the Federal Court, but not the new appeal division at the IRB, and could be deported while their application before the court is pending.

The changes will save taxpayers millions in social welfare costs in services claimants are entitled to while their cases weave through the system.

Kenney said it's "remarkable" that the European Union has been the top source region for asylum claims made in Canada, and that the majority of claimants either withdraw or abandon their claims or are rejected.

Of all EU claims referred to the IRB, 91% were rejected last year.

"With these improvements, we are ensuring that genuine refugees fleeing persecution will receive protection more quickly, while, at the same time, failed asylum claimants from generally safe countries will be removed much faster," the minister said.


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