Monday, February 13, 2012


New figures give the scope of this massive problem. There are 23 countries in the European Union where they can go easily, but they come to distant Canada instead, in an organized fashion, and the government cannot figure out how to deal with the problem of mass arrivals. The difference in figures amongst the countries is staggering. A large number of claims are abandoned, so the question is why are they making the claim in the first place if they do not follow it through? What is the driver for this? the Hungarian economy is  in very poor shape, but the article does not mention that . See story below:

Hungarian asylum seekers flood Canadian shores in 2011

OTTAWA — The number of Hungarians seeking asylum in Canada, the vast majority of whom are believed to be Roma, nearly doubled last year and it appears the government has yet to figure out what to do about the problem.
New figures obtained by Postmedia News suggest 4,409 Hungarians applied for refugee status in 2011 compared to just 2,300 a year earlier. In 2009 there were 2,440 applications for asylum.
According to 2009 and 2010 figures from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Canada is by far the top destination for Hungarian asylum seekers.
Belgium was the next highest destination at 188 applications. The United States received 47 claims, while Norway and France each received 33.
The Canadian government has taken a hard line on Roma asylum applications in recent years.
A spike in Roma asylum claimants from Czech Republic two years ago — 95 Czech Roma landed at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport in a single night — prompted the government to impose a visa requirements on Czech citizens and led Immigration Minister Jason Kenney to label most Czech Roma claims "bogus."
In 2010 Kenney told the House of Commons that some Roma asylum-seekers are "coached to come to Canada, make a false asylum claim, and then register for provincial welfare benefits."
While Hungary has become the top source for refugee claimants since then, the government does not seem prepared to reinstate visa requirements on the country’s citizens.
"Canada regularly reviews its visa policies toward other countries. Countries are aware that if they do not satisfy the conditions of a visa exemption, a visa may be imposed,” said Candice Malcolm, a spokesperson for Kenney.
“Our government looks at a wide range of factors when considering visa requirements for a given country, including current and potential migration issues, security of travel documents, as well as public safety, national security, bilateral relations, border management, human-rights issues, and the effectiveness of our immigration programs."
Since Kenney’s public questioning of the veracity of the Czech asylum claims, the Immigration and Refugee Board has taken a much harder line on Roma applicants. It approved just two per cent of Czech Republic refugee claims in 2010 and five per cent in the first nine months of 2011. It has been equally hard on claims from Hungarian nationals, approving two per cent in 2010 and seven per cent in the first nine months of last year.
In 2007, a year before Canada lifted its visa requirement for Hungarian citizens, just 34 asylum claims were received.
“The government of Canada is always looking at ways to solve the problem of people taking advantage of our refugee system,” said a government source who ruled out any immediate plans to reintroduce a visa requirement on Hungarian citizens, citing its impact on Canada’s trade relationship with Hungary.
The source would not say what measures the government is considering but noted the situation won’t be rectified when the Balanced Refugee Reform Act takes effect in June.
The new measures will ensure failed claimants are deported within 12 months, but many withdraw or abandon their claim before then.
With files from National Post and Ottawa Citizen

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