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.

STATEMENT: Jenny Kwan’s statement on the launch of EMPP and the Global Task Force on Refugee Labour Mobility

STATEMENT: Jenny Kwan’s statement on the launch of EMPP and the Global Task Force on Refugee Labour Mobility

The Liberals need to make good on their promises if we are to meaningfully realize the talent of ​the refugees who want to come to Canada and contribute to ​Canada's economic, social and cultural fabric.
Furthermore, the EMPP’s requirement that applicants must have UNHCR refugee status determination means that many talented refugees will not be able to access this program as in some regions,  there are no UNHCR offices available. This requirement is not only an impediment for this program, it is also a huge barrier for those seeking private sponsorships through the Group of Five Initiative. I have repeatedly called on the government to waive this requirement and I must echo that call now. For those seeking asylum in Canada and elsewhere, time is of the essence.

IN THE NEWS: Globe & Mail - Church group halts refugee sponsorship role, calls on Ottawa to provide support

A B.C. church organization that has been instrumental in sponsoring refugees has abruptly suspended its program, as Canada’s private sponsors face frustration and burnout amid a growing humanitarian crisis.

“I regret to inform you that all sponsorship activities under the auspices of the Anglican Diocese of BC are hereby suspended effective immediately,” Tony Davis, the diocese’s sponsorship co-ordinator, told community partners in a March 27 e-mail obtained by The Globe and Mail. “This action is taken with a heavy heart, and I am not certain how long the issues behind this decision will take to be resolved.”

IN THE NEWS: CPAC coverage of NDP immigration critic Jenny Kwan’s news conference on Parliament Hill

IN THE NEWS: CPAC coverage of NDP immigration critic Jenny Kwan’s news conference on Parliament Hill

At a news conference on Parliament Hill, Jenny Kwan, the NDP critic for immigration refugees and citizenship, urges the federal government to expedite the resettlement of families of Afghan interpreters who provided assistance to Canadian forces during their mission in Afghanistan. She is joined by former interpreters who represent a group of families who are seeking resettlement.

IN THE NEWS: CTV - ‘Lives are at risk’: NDP implore feds to speed up resettlement of Afghan interpreters’ families

IN THE NEWS: CTV - ‘Lives are at risk’: NDP implore feds to speed up resettlement of Afghan interpreters’ families

The New Democrats are pleading for the government to speed up the immigration process to allow extended family members of Afghan interpreters fleeing the Taliban to come to Canada.

NDP immigration, refugees, and citizenship critic Jenny Kwan was joined by former interpreters on Wednesday to call on Immigration Minister Sean Fraser to reduce application barriers and speed up processing as their families face escalating threats.

“As the government continues to dawdle on this file, lives are at risk as I speak to you today. Their lives could be at risk and I have to ask this question: What is going on with the government? What is going on with the Ministry of Immigration?” said Kwan.

MEDIA RELEASE: NDP stands up for Afghan interpreters’ families

“Since the application process opened on December 9, 2021, these former Afghan interpreters representing 300 families submitted over 300 applications,” said Kwan. “To date, not one family from their group has arrived in Canada, and all applications submitted in January haven’t even received a file number. This is unacceptable. Meanwhile, lives hang in the balance. The government must expedite these applications so these families can be reunited safely in Canada.”

Hundreds of Afghan interpreters provided vital service​s to ​the Canadian military in Afghanistan. In early September 2021, just weeks after the fall of Kabul, former Afghan interpreters organized a hunger strike calling on the Liberal government to allow their extended families to get to safety in Canada. They were successful with their advocacy when the government announced new measures for extended families of Afghan interpreters—but the government has yet to process their applications.

IN THE NEWS: Hill Times - ‘Racism plays a role in immigration decisions,’ House Immigration Committee hears

IN THE NEWS: Hill Times - ‘Racism plays a role in immigration decisions,’ House Immigration Committee hears

NDP MP Jenny Kwan (Vancouver East, B.C.) her top priority on this topic is to convince the government to put an independent ombudsperson in place whose job it would be to assess IRCC policies and the application of said policies as they relate to differential treatment, systemic racism, and gender biases.

“Let’s dig deep. Have an officer of the House do this work completely independent from the government,” she said in an interview with The Hill Times.

At the March 22 meeting, Kwan asked all six witnesses to state for the record if they agreed that the government should put such an ombudsperson in place. All six witnesses agreed. Kwan questioned the ability of the department to conduct its own internal reviews.

OPEN LETTER to Deputy Prime Minister on border restriction

OPEN LETTER to Deputy Prime Minister on border restriction

This letter is regarding the most recent announcement made on the morning of March 20th 2020 by Prime Minister Trudeau that irregular migrant crossings will not be permitted from the United States border, and will be turned back into U.S custody. It was only days ago that the government provided verbal assurance that asylum seekers crossing into Canada irregularly would not be turned away. Now today these unprecedented restrictions have been announced and I am highly concerned about the possible implications that could result. It is incredibly disappointing that Canada is turning its back on its humanitarian obligations, particularly when we are facing a global pandemic when those who are most vulnerable are in need now more than ever.
The current unprecedented situation with COVID-19 does not mean that the global forced displacement crisis is over, nor does it mean that the conditions for those fleeing persecution had stopped. Choosing to turn our backs on those in desperate need to get to safety will not effectively stop the spread of COVID-19.

IN THE NEWS: CBC - Ottawa reveals details of emergency immigration program for Ukrainian refugees

IN THE NEWS: CBC - Ottawa reveals details of emergency immigration program for Ukrainian refugees

Jenny Kwan, the NDP immigration critic, said Ukrainian refugees hoping to come to Canada still face hurdles that Ottawa could eliminate. "Accessing a biometrics centre in a neighbouring country may still be onerous and difficult and will undoubtedly delay the process," she said.
Kwan cited Ireland as an example to follow. Ireland has temporarily waived its visa requirements for refugees fleeing the war.

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