We live in an interconnected world, and events transpiring worldwide ultimately affects Canadians, whether we are speaking about economic trade, global prices of goods and commodities, knowledge and skills exchange, effects of climate change, disease transmission and control, natural disaster management, and others. Fulfilling our international obligations protects and serves the interests of Canadians. 

People fleeing war, persecution or natural disasters face tremendous barriers to obtaining necessary travel documents. For this reason, I have been advocating for visa-free travel for urgent, life-and-death situations such as the war in Ukraine. I have also been advocating for the government to rescind the safe third country agreement because often, refugees cannot get to safety without first going to a third country. It is paramount that Canada has an adequately resourced immigration system that can act with flexibility and expediency in times of crisis without compromising national security standards.

As your Member of Parliament, I will fight to ensure Canada fulfills its humanitarian and environmental obligations as a member of the international community.

CBC: NDP calls for end to most immigration detention cases

The federal NDP is calling for an end to immigration detention — except for people who pose a danger to the public — after Radio-Canada/CBC reporting revealed that thousands of foreign nationals are detained each year with no release date.
"To put someone in jail when they're not a threat to public safety and throw away the key, without letting them know when they will actually be free, is so wrong, so inhumane," said Jenny Kwan, the party's immigration critic.   "People's lives are destroyed in that way and they have zero hope. Many of them may have fled persecution to get to safety. Little do they know that when they get to Canada, they could be put in jail."
Earlier this week, Radio-Canada/CBC told the story of Abdirahman Warssama, who fled to Canada from Somalia only to be locked up for five years and seven months in maximum security jails in Ontario.

MP Jenny Kwan: Pushes for stronger action on ending persecution and genocide of Uyghurs and Turkic Muslims

Madam Speaker, today we are debating Motion No. 62, a motion that focuses on the human rights abuses and genocide being carried out against Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims by the government of the People's Republic of China.

Canada has an obligation to uphold and defend human rights in the international community and support Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims, who are facing horrific persecution. I want to send a clear message that New Democrats support the motion, and we stand in solidarity with them in their fight for human rights.

Canadian Press: Critics pan government plaque praising Canada's evacuation efforts in Afghanistan

Canadian Press: Critics pan government plaque praising Canada's evacuation efforts in Afghanistan

NDP MP Jenny Kwan, who sat on the committee, said Canadian public servants and soldiers put their lives at stake to help people and should be commemorated — but not while Afghan is suffering ongoing tumult.  "This is about the lack of planning and thought that the government had put into this (evacuation)," she said.

"I'm very dismayed that the Liberal government was busy finding ways to congratulate themselves when the aftermath is so dire for the Afghans who have risked their lives and that of their family members, who helped Canada with our missions.”  Kwan argued a plaque commemorating Afghans who served Canada would be more appropriate.

Canadian News: Ottawa urged to pressure Pakistan to stop deporting Afghans, speed up refugee claims

Canadian News: Ottawa urged to pressure Pakistan to stop deporting Afghans, speed up refugee claims

But that is cold comfort to NDP immigration critic Jenny Kwan, who says she has been warning the government about the impending deadline since the Pakistan government first announced its plan in October.
Kwan pointed to numerous reports in recent weeks of Pakistan authorities checking foreigners' visas and making arrests as proof of the threat.  "The situation on the ground for people who are trying to escape persecution from the Taliban is that this is not reassuring at all," she said. "The reality is that they are living in fear every day."
Kwan said she has personally received text messages about Pakistani police having raided a hotel where Afghan refugees were staying. "And the only way I'm told that people cannot get arrested in that process is to pay heavy bribes," she said.
"The reality is that people have been hiding, and they have not been working. They don't really have the resources to be able to afford to pay these hefty bribes. That is what's happening on the ground for people."

CBC: Refugee group partners with Ottawa to bring hundreds of LGBTQ Afghans to Canada

CBC: Refugee group partners with Ottawa to bring hundreds of LGBTQ Afghans to Canada

"Rainbow Railroad has a fantastic track record in helping to resettle members from the [LGBTQ]  community across the globe," said British Columbia MP Jenny Kwan, the NDP's immigration critic.
While she applauds the partnership with Rainbow Railroad, she said the federal government must expedite the resettlement process for " individuals who are being persecuted [and] whose lives are at risk.”
Kwan said wait times for processing refugee claims can take up to three or four years — the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada's website states the projected wait time is approximately 24 months — and vulnerable people such as LGBTQ Afghans don't have that much time to wait.
Canadian Press: Unblocking Afghanistan aid could come in spring, minister says amid calls for urgency

Canadian Press: Unblocking Afghanistan aid could come in spring, minister says amid calls for urgency

The NDP says Ottawa has to boost its own spending to make up for the time it has spent holding back humanitarian groups from responding.
“This Liberal promise will not come in time to help Afghans face the brutal winter,” reads a joint statement by MPs Heather McPherson and Jenny Kwan.
“Afghanistan is in acute humanitarian crisis, with soaring food prices, insecurity and lack of access to basic services likely to cause widespread suffering and many deaths.”
IN THE NEWS: New Canadian Media - Canada doesn’t appear to have a plan to welcome climate migrants

IN THE NEWS: New Canadian Media - Canada doesn’t appear to have a plan to welcome climate migrants

Federal NDP immigration critic Jenny Kwan said Canada has a responsibility to increase the number of accepted refugees and asylum-seekers. “Instead,” she said, pointing to new numbers released this month, “the government is reducing the numbers, so it’s going in the opposite direction.”
“The work of lowering emissions and transitioning the energy sector must happen while supporting communities on the frontlines,” Kwan said. “[These changes] have to happen simultaneously because people are being displaced right now.”
Coming out of COP27, Kwan says she is not seeing the urgency from the Canadian government that is required on this issue. In addition to pushing to end oil and gas subsidies immediately, and to stop pursuing pipeline expansion, Kwan says the NDP is demanding the government sign on to an environmental bill of rights — for people and nature. 
“We need public accountability, truth be told,” she said. “We can’t trust the government on this issue. They say nice words, but they don’t match that with action. We need independent oversight with regard to climate action.”
What that means for Canada is making significant financial contributions to a fund for countries experiencing the ravages of the crisis right now.
“We must respond to what is happening in the global community,” Kwan says. “Climate migration is already happening. People are already dying as a result of it.

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