Canada Immigration’s Anti-Terrorism Stance: Clear and Consistent (In Theory)
By Author: Admin | January 2, 2011
Canada’s immigration law is very absolutist in certain matters. There is in theory, a refusal to tolerate the admission to Canada of persons who were a member of a group that engaged in terrorism. I have had more than one client get caught under the section below, which can even bar people who were forcibly recruited into an organization that engages in terrorism.
Section 34(1) of the Immigration Refugee Protection Act, states as follows:
“A permanent resident or a foreign national is inadmissible on security grounds for:
(a) engaging in an act of espionage or an act of subversion against a democratic government, institution or process as they are understood in Canada;
(b) engaging in or instigating the subversion by force of any government;
(c) engaging in terrorism;
(d) being a danger to the security of Canada;
(e) engaging in acts of violence that would or might endanger the lives or safety of persons in Canada; or
(f) being a member of an organisation that there are reasonable grounds to believe engages, has engaged or will engage in acts referred to in paragraph (a), (b) or (c).”
The absolute, all-encompassing nature of the above law is apparent in the fact that one can get caught for subverting ‘any government’, including manifestly unjust ones; it seems that under the law above, yesterday’s terrorist will not morph into today’s freedom fighter, but rather, will remain a terrorist, forever barred from Canada. This appears to be an indication that Canada’s immigration policy demands not only immigrants who enhance Canada’s economy, but also, immigrants who are apolitical . The more politically active types may wish to avail themselves of Canada’s refugee system.
The Canadian government of course can and will make exceptions to the above law and will allow a person who was a member of a terrorist organization into Canada. One infamous example is the admission of Mohammad Mashat, an Iraqi Ambassador during the rule of Saddam Hussein. Mr. Mashat’s Canadian permanent resident visa was not only granted in 1991, but was also graciously expedited by Canada’s Immigration department, perhaps in exchange for his spying on the Iraqi government. The machinations of governments at the Diplomatic level don’t have time for something as trivial as the laws of Canada. Perhaps this is why Julian Assange is a target of the US government: Wikileaks has exposed information that reiterates the perception that democratic governments don’t always act democratically and seek to flout the rule of law when convenient.
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