Is it right to deny asylum seekers access to legal aid?
Mimicking a similar exodus from the Czech Republic a couple of years ago, Canada has been witnessing a sharp spike in applications for refugee status from Hungarian Roma families visiting Canada.
Until recently, legal aid used to regularly approve funding of around $3,000 to Roma claimants to hire lawyers to argue their cases at the Immigration and Refugee Board.
But, according to one immigration lawyer, that’s no longer the case. And he thinks that’s more than unfair.
The issue of Roma asylum seekers has become contentious in recent years, particularly after Immigration Minister Jason Kenney chose to label many of the claims "bogus", leading to a threat of class action suit from various Roma asylum seekers.
But just where people are from isn’t really the issue, is it? It’s simply the cost.
More than $18.5 million was spent last year by Legal Aid Ontario to help thousands of refugee claimants and immigrants fight their legal battles to stay in Canada, the Toronto Sun reports.
The documents show that more than $16 million of the amount spent on immigration went to the Refugee Protection Division, a body that determines whether a claimant is a refugee to be accepted in Canada.
That’s a big number when you consider that it’s tough for existing Canadians to qualify for legal aid to represent them in employment disputes or many other civil issues.
In fact, the whole system is a mess, says Martin Collacott, a spokesman for Canada’s Centre for Immigration Policy Reform. Here’s his take on where Canada’s immigration policy has gone horribly wrong.
Is he right? Are we off track when it comes to immigration policy? Should the public purse foot the bill for those banging on the door to get or stay in?
By Gordon Powers, MSN Money
Posted by: Elmo | Jan 28, 2022 12:18:22 AM
If they can't afford the legal costs to stay in the country... then they shouldn't have been here in the first place. What ever happened to "sponsorship" ? And if they want to come into Canada, either they go through the whole extensive paperwork process at their own cost and for as long as it takes or they can stay where they are. These days, they cry wolf or refugee, get their legal & health costs paid for, live in tax-subsidized housing, get free education and even get CPP after 10 years of living off the Canadian taxpayer. Enough is Enough !! Either they carry their own weight or they stay where they are.
Posted by: Maroubra | Jan 28, 2022 1:33:02 AM
Me a tax payer, why should I be paying for these immigration lawyers and bogus re fugees. We should start taking care of our very own first, the homeless and seniors living in poverty. I really hope the provincial an federal government can stop wasting our limited resources and do the right thing for once.
Posted by: habit2012 | Jan 28, 2022 11:34:41 AM
no we pay for to much out of tax payers pockets for stuff thats should not be payed for , they want to live in this country they need to use there own money or family members money that are here.and to top it off this just giving legal aids a reason to get some money.
oh canada home of the givers dont work we will pay you, come to canada live here sponge off the people we will feed and house you , oh and yes come here we will let you live by your country rules.
AFTER ALL WE ARE CANADA.HOME OF THE NUTURING PUSHOVERS,HERE TAKE MY WALLET THANK YOU FOR CHOOSING CANADA!!!!!!!!!
Posted by: CE | Jan 28, 2022 1:05:00 PM
Canada's immigration system needs a major overhaul. It's time to close the flood gates...is anyone listening??
Posted by: KT | Jan 28, 2022 6:45:12 PM
O wow!!!!! You are elected your own government.....now you can eat what's your government had cocked for you (include immigration law and all other related and unrelated expenses)
Posted by: NT | Jan 28, 2022 8:34:47 PM
I bet none of you are Aboriginal. Therefore, all of you are immigrants. Wake up and eat your racist remarks.
Posted by: Diamond Dave | Jan 28, 2022 10:07:13 PM
Hopefully there are not CEO 's immigrating here the payout would be astronomicle!!!!
Posted by: Rational Gal | Jan 29, 2022 1:42:15 AM
@KT I certainly won't be eating anything the gov't has "cocked" up for me!
Posted by: Elmo | Jan 30, 2022 12:18:55 PM
@NT... and where in anthropological records or evidence does it say that "aboriginals" were the first ones in Canada. Did a few of them just drop in from the sky. Way back when the earth's land masses were connected (Pangean Supercontinent) nomadic tribed and people from all over migrated across the land. Therefore your "aboriginals" or "First Nations" people may have been of mongoloid stock or asian descent. And who knows whether they themselves may have wiped out whoever was "in Canada" before them. Quid Pro Quo... you reap what you sow.
Posted by: Al-man | Jan 30, 2022 12:31:13 PM
I think we pay too much for legal aid, health care, and taking care of the people who just newly arrive here. They should be sponsored by someone here already. More is paid out to a new refugee than a retiree who has paid into the system for 50 or more years. Where is the justice in that?
If you want to come to Canada, come here legally, get a job, add your fair share to the country, don't demand that we follow your culture, pay for everything yourself like I do, and live according to canadian laws. Is that too much to ask?
Posted by: Elmo | Jan 30, 2022 5:22:52 PM
AMEN to that Al-man.
Posted by: John | Jan 31, 2022 7:38:37 PM
No it is not right! Keep them out if they can't pay. Come on GET REAL!