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.

IN THE NEWS: Vancouver Sun - Fed NDP calls for temporary resident permit and travel documents for Afghans

IN THE NEWS: Vancouver Sun - Fed NDP calls for temporary resident permit and travel documents for Afghans

The federal NDP’s immigration critic, Vancouver East candidate Jenny Kwan, has called on the caretaker Liberal government to immediately provide Afghans who supported the Canadian armed forces during the war on the Taliban with temporary residency permits and travel documents.

Kwan said that many Afghan interpreters, other collaborators, and their extended families have been left in a precarious position as the Taliban has taken over Afghanistan.

IN THE NEWS: Globe & Mail - First flight of Afghans to Canada a ‘relief’ but advocates say more needs to be done faster

Former Afghan interpreters now living in Canada held a rally on Parliament Hill on Tuesday to demand that the government bring their families to safety.

Jenny Kwan, the NDP Critic for Immigration, and Randall Garrison, the NDP Critic for Defence, said in a statement that Afghan interpreters, other Afghans who worked for Canada and their extended families are in a “highly precarious situation.”

“Although many collaborators are finally being helped to come to Canada, the Liberals’ new process is not good enough,” the statement said. The NDP is asking the government to broaden the program to allow for extended family, and for the application deadline to be extended.

IN THE NEWS: Toronto Star - Advocacy group hints at unexplained immigration policy shift

Activists from the Migrant Rights Network (MRN) say a “secretive policy shift” may be brewing at Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) which may explain the unprecedented rate of rejections of permanent residence applications on Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds.
Richard Goldman, a lawyer at Montreal City Mission, believes that some policy change may have occurred, but whether this involves the personnel assessing the applications, the training of these personnel or an internal directive is unknown.

“The Humanitarian and Compassionate application system is broken,” says Syed Hussan, who works with the Migrant Rights Network (MRN) secretariat, which organized marches in Montreal and Ottawa this past weekend to demand the government extend residency status to all migrants in order to ensure their equal access to rights. “And as the data we released is showing, it can arbitrarily be changed without oversight or accountability.”

IN THE NEWS: Star - Advocacy group hits at unexplained immigration policy shift

IN THE NEWS: Star - Advocacy group hits at unexplained immigration policy shift

Note on source : data from the IRCC provided to the Migrant Justice Network by Jenny Kwan, the immigration affairs critic of the New Democratic Party (NDP), through an access to information request.

In a response to Radio-Canada, the IRCC insists the numbers have not changed. Expecting the refusal rate to eventually stabilize, it blames administrative delays resulting from the pandemic which have slowed down other immigration applications over the past year.

IN THE NEWS: Globe & Mail - Special immigration measures will help Canada resettle thousands of Afghans who worked with military, embassy

IN THE NEWS: Globe & Mail - Special immigration measures will help Canada resettle thousands of Afghans who worked with military, embassy

The NDP’s defence critic, Randall Garrison, and its immigration critic, Jenny Kwan, released a statement saying these measures are “long overdue” and that it was “unconscionable” for Canada not to have done more already.

“The Liberals’ scramble to change their tune is demonstrated by the fact that the government is still unsure how many Afghans are eligible to come to Canada,” the statement said.

IN THE NEWS: Canadian Press - Permanent residency application rejections

IN THE NEWS: Canadian Press - Permanent residency application rejections

Recently released figures show the rejection rate for permanent residency applications on humanitarian and compassionate grounds has risen sharply over the past couple of years.
"These decisions were done quietly behind closed doors and there is little public accountability in this opaque and discretionary process," said NDP immigration critic Jenny Kwan.
Canada allows some people who would not usually meet the criteria for permanent residency to apply on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, which are considered on a case-by-case basis according to factors such as how settled someone is here or the best interests of children.
According to data the Immigration Department provided in response to an order paper question from Kwan this spring, the rate of applications refused after processing ranged from 35 to 41 per cent between 2016 and 2019. Those figures do not include applications that were withdrawn.

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