Friday, September 2, 2011


Question: Where can a foreign criminal with 72 convictions be released? Answer: in Canada.

The case below comes on the heels of an earlier decision in the release of another convicted serious foreign criminal (Guzman) just one week ago. These are not "run of the mill" cases, bu tare becoming all too common: career criminals with multiple convictions who have evaded capture after being ordered deported are being routinely released by immigration adjudicators and members of the Immigration and refugee Board. What is going on? Is there a bureaucratic "revolt" against keeping these unsavoury characters who pose a significant danger to society in custody? The articles talk about 'due process" of law, and that is a cardinal principle of our justice system, but that does not mean that a person has a right to roam the streets if they have already been ordered deported. Many individuals are kept in custody for lesser offences. So why are these high crime, high risk individuals being released? Is that a political statement? What would it take for Canada to wake up to this ridiculous system? A tragedy?  How much misplaced "compassion" does Canada need to show to those who enter Canada under false pretences and commit multiple violent crimes? Or is it stupidity? Why are people with a DUI or a simple drug possession charge who try to come to Canada for business purposes from the US not allowed to enter, while a career criminal with multiple violent convictions remains at large? Have we lost our moral compass? Time for common sense to prevail.

Career criminal sign of flawed immigration system Toronto & GTA News Toronto Sun

Career criminal sign of flawed immigration system

By Chris Doucette ,Toronto Sun
First posted: Thursday, September 01, 2011 07:28 PM EDT Updated: Thursday, September 01, 2011 07:41 PM EDT

TORONTO - Walford Uriah Steer, one of the latest fugitives wanted by the Canada Border Services Agency to be rounded up, has been steering his way through the country’s flawed immigration system for more than a decade.

The 39-year-old career criminal has been ordered deported twice, re-entered the country illegally and been dubbed a “danger” to society. But the Immigration and Refugee Board still released him out onto the street for the fourth time in April instead of immediately sending him packing.

Now the Jamaican-born deportee-turned-refugee-turned-fugitive is once again in custody after he was busted by Toronto cops for allegedly pimping a 16-year-old girl.

“Any way you slice it, it’s not acceptable,” Mike Patton, a spokesman for Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, said Thursday.

He said Steer’s case highlights some of the serious problems the federal government is intent on fixing.

“The minister wants to see this stuff addressed,” Patton said, adding his boss is “in discussions” with the IRB, CBSA and others involved in an effort to plug the holes that allow for such abuses.

But it’s easier said than done, he said, explaining officials have to “be careful” not to make changes based on “a few weird exceptions.”

“You want to have a good, fair process,” Patton said.

Steer’s life of crime dates back to 1993, just months after he immigrated to Canada with a parent as a sponsor. By 1999, he had so many convictions for assault, theft, fraud and other offences that he was booted out of the country.

But Steer snuck back into Canada in 2000, presumably using a different name. He filed for refugee status, claiming he would be killed if he returned to Jamaica.

The IRB granted Steer refugee status in 2003.

By 2006, he had amassed a whopping 76 criminal convictions and was once again facing deportation.

Steer was set free while he fought to stay in the country.

The IRB couldn’t be reached, so the conditions of his release are unclear.

Steer surfaced again when he was arrested in 2010. He remained in custody until last April, when he was once again ordered to leave the country and then promptly set free to await deportation.

Steer disappeared again until Tuesday, when he was arrested by Toronto cops and slapped with a slew of new charges for allegedly attempting to convince a young teen to become a prostitute.

“The IRB must release deportees unless there is a profound reason to keep them in custody,” Patton said.

He said deportees are typically set free with instructions to report for deportation on a specified date and “most people comply.”

It’s also not uncommon for deportees to return and claim refugee status, he said. And even though they’ve already been deported, their claims must be heard at the taxpayers’ expense, again, before they can be booted out, again.

“They are entitled to due process each and every time,” Patton said.

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