Ezra Levant, Toronto Sun, August 22, 2010
How bad is life back in Sri Lanka for Tamil refugees?
Are they tortured? Do they have a well-founded fear of persecution?
Are things so bloody bad over there that we have to let a boatload of them into Canada, just because they showed up?
That’s what we’re told by immigration lawyers, bleeding heart politicians and fashionable journalists who don’t believe Canada should have any borders at all.
But what about actual Tamil refugees here in Canada? How bad do they think life is back home?
As QMI’s [Quebec Media, Inc.’s] investigative report shows, 71% of Tamil refugees here in Canada think things back in Sri Lanka are good enough that they’ve gone back home for a vacation.
Canadian immigration officials randomly surveyed 50 Tamils already here, who are trying to “sponsor” more people to come over, too. Of those would-be sponsors, 31 are refugees. And 22 of those admit to going back to Sri Lanka.
That would be like Jews who fled Nazi Germany deciding to go back to Berlin to hear the opera. Sorry, it just doesn’t add up.
The Tamils are playing us for fools. They’re not genuine refugees. Genuine refugees don’t go back to a country that’s persecuting them.
The benign interpretation is that they went back for a vacation. But there’s the real possibility that some went back to help the Tamil Tiger terrorist group wage its war against Sri Lanka.
The no-borders left has argued that because Canada accepted 85% of Tamil refugee claims last year, that’s “proof” Sri Lanka is a bad place.
But that high number doesn’t tell us anything about Sri Lanka, a place that the UN High Commissioner on Refugees says is so much improved that no country in the world should assume that Tamils are refugees.
No, what that 85% number tells us is that our Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB), the independent judges who are supposed to screen out bogus refugees, is totally broken.
The IRB judges are letting almost all the Tamils in. And many of those they reject stay here anyway. According to Sheila Fraser, the auditor general, 63,000 would-be refugees who have been ordered deported from Canada are still here, and the government has lost track of where 41,000 of them are.
The 85% acceptance figure was suspicious enough, based on the UN’s comments. But now that we know 71% of Tamil refugees travel back and forth to Sri Lanka, it’s more than a scandal. It’s wholesale fraud.
If Jason Kenney, the immigration minister, was responsible for that 85% acceptance rate, and the 71% fraud rate, the opposition would rightfully call on him to resign. But it’s the IRB judges, not Kenney, who make the decisions.
Brian Goodman is the chair of the IRB. It’s his job to make sure his judges are competent and skeptical. At least one of those components is obviously missing. Goodman must go.
But that’s just the start. The only way to restore confidence in the system–and respect for the value of Canadian citizenship–is to have an audit of every Tamil refugee to see if they, too, took vacations back to Sri Lanka, after swearing they were terrified to be there. Those who went back should be denaturalized–stripped of their immigration status and deported immediately.