Canada's Conservative government introduced new legislation on Wed. June 20 designed to give more power to the country's immigration minister and make it easier to turf immigrants who break the law. The minister says it's about protecting Canadians.
The 'Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act' targets any immigrants convicted of crimes and sentenced from 6 months to 2 years. Currently those criminals can appeal deportation orders but will no longer be able to do so when the new legislation comes into effect.
Immigration Minister; Concerned about Canadians
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says it's a change that will save the Canadian government and taxpayers time and money. He says the way it stands now, many convicted criminals the country wants to deport can fight the order, sometimes for years.
"I'm more concerned about the rights of law-abiding Canadians who have been victimized by foreign criminals who have delayed their deportation, than I am about the rights of foreign national citizens who committed serious crimes in Canada," Kenney said. "The one way they can stay in Canada for good is to either become citizens or not commit serious crimes. I don't think that's too much to ask."
The legislation also seeks to prevent anyone convicted of a crime overseas, in their native country or elsewhere, to come to Canada. That refusal will also include their families.