Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act
|An Act to Amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the Balanced Refugee Reform Act, the Marine Transportation Security Act and the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Act.|
|Enacted by||House of Commons of Canada|
|Enacted by||Senate of Canada|
|Date of Royal Assent||June 28, 2012|
|Bill introduced in the House of Commons of Canada||Bill C-31|
|Introduced by||MP Jason Kenney|
|First reading||February 16, 2012|
|Second reading||March 23, 2012|
|Third reading||June 11, 2012|
|Conference committee bill passed||May 14, 2012|
|Bill introduced in the Senate of Canada||Bill C-31|
|First reading||June 11, 2012|
|Second reading||June 13, 2012|
|Third reading||June 27, 2012|
|Conference committee bill passed||June 21, 2012|
|Status: Current legislation|
"Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act", or Bill C-31, "An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the Balanced Refugee Reform Act, the Marine Transportation Security Act and the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Act", is an act of the 41st Canadian Parliament, sponsored by the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, Jason Kenney. It was introduced on 16 February 2012 and received Royal Assent on 28 June 2012.
The following changes were made by the bill:
- the immigration minister would have the power to choose which countries are safe without a committee including human rights experts
- rejected refugee claimants from countries on the safe country list would no longer be able to appeal the decision to the Immigration and Refugee Board
- claimants from countries on the safe country list would have to wait a year before applying for compassionate and humanitarian considerations to become permanent residents, and could be deported in the meanwhile
- claimants from countries on the safe country list would be able ask for a judicial review by the Federal Court, but could be deported before the court makes a decision
- biometric identification would be implemented for people that apply for visas to visit Canada
Amnesty International, the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, and the Canadian Council for Refugees have called for the withdrawal of the bill, claiming that it has provisions that would "arbitrarily detain groups of refugees; keep parents, children and spouses apart for years; undermine the fairness of the refugee claim and protection process; introduce the use of biometrics; and authorize the stripping of permanent residence from refugees", and "gives Ministers broad, unfettered and unprecedented powers".
Human Rights Watch has also criticized the bill, saying that "[s]ubjecting 16- and 17-year-old children to mandatory, unreviewable detention backtracks on Canada’s commitments to children", and that "[w]e believe it is impossible to make a blanket determination that any country is safe for everyone and would never produce a refugee".
- "House Government Bill C-31". Parliament of Canada. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
- Elliott, Louise; Payton, Laura (15 February 2012). "Refugee reforms include fingerprints, no appeals for some". CBC News. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
- "Media Advisory: Human Rights Groups Protest Draconian Refugee Bill". Canadian Civil Liberties Association. 15 March 2012. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
- "Canada: Vote No on Migrant Detention Bill". Human Rights Watch. 16 March 2012. Retrieved 7 April 2012.