Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Library of Parliament Legislative Summary of Proposed Human Smuggling Law

The Library of Parliament recently published a legislative summary of Bill C-49: An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the Balanced Refugee Reform Act and the Marine Transportation Security Act:
"Specifically, the bill:
  • creates the new category of 'designated foreign national' for members of a group which has been designated by the Minister as an 'irregular arrival' to Canada with the resultant creation of a new detention regime; mandatory conditions on release from detention; restrictions on the issuance of refugee travel documents; and bars on certain immigration applications, applicable only to 'designated foreign nationals';
  • restricts the ability to appeal certain decisions to the Refugee Appeal Division (RAD), and adds to the powers of officers detaining persons upon entry to Canada for suspected criminality;
  • amends the definition of what constitutes 'human smuggling' under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), introduces new mandatory minimum sentences for human smuggling, and adds new aggravating factors to be considered by the court when determining the penalties for the offences of 'trafficking in persons' and 'disembarking persons at sea'; and
  • amends the Marine Transportation Security Act (MTSA) to increase the penalties for individuals and corporations who contravene existing laws, and creates new penalties to be imposed specifically on vessels involved in contraventions of the MTSA..."
"Irregular migration, which occurs when people enter or reside in a country without having received legal authorization from the host state to do so, is a hotly debated international migration topic, as 'irregular migration poses very real dilemmas for states as well as exposing migrants themselves to insecurity and vulnerability'. "

"There have been some recent high-profile cases where a large number of persons have arrived in Canada by boat to claim refugee status, such as those arriving on the Ocean Lady in October 2009, and on the Sun Sea in August 2010."

"These events highlighted a growing trend of individuals paying large sums of money to human smugglers to assist the migrants in gaining entry into Canada."

"A key objective of Bill C-49 is to deter large-scale events of irregular migration to Canada, particularly where these involve human smuggling."

It is possible to follow the progress of the Bill on the LEGISinfo site. The legislation is currently in front of the House of Commons.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:43 pm


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