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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

Canada's Dysfunctional Refugee Determination System: Canadian Asylum Policy from a Comparative Perspective

Public Policy Sources by Stephen Gallagher

In this paper, Stephen Gallagher examines the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, of 2001. He suggests that elements in the Act actually threatened to extend, rather than reduce, the refugee claims backlog; once federal government officials realized this, a more streamlined approach for the determination process was subsequently adopted. Gallagher argues, however, that while it is not clear whether Canada’s reformed refugee determination system is capable of handling the high number of refugee applications, the new system still seems to be inconsistent with an emerging convergence in international refugee determination policy and practice.

In addressing the subject of Canada’s refugee determination process, Gallagher first looks at the overall process for screening asylum seekers for entry to the regular refugee determination system. He then looks at the Canadian picture vis-à-vis that in other countries, which includes a review of international appeal processes and a comparison of outcomes in the determination process. Gallagher concludes that Canadian policies are out of step with those found in the rest of the developed world.

Gallagher points out that migration controls,especially in regard to illegal immigration, are quickly becoming a policy priority for many countries in the developed world. He argues that Canada is less willing to use deterrence policies when it comes to illegal immigration; consequently, asylum seekers are inherently drawn to Canada. Gallagher suggests that this poses serious concerns for Canada’s refugee determination system, in terms of limiting costs, and maintaining the integrity and sustainability of the system overall.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): Stephen Gallagher;
Publisher: Fraser Institute [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2004; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: International; National;
Registration Required: No Language: English
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / International Law & Politics / Refugees Policy
Policy Articles / International Law & Politics / Refugees Policy / 2004
Policy Articles / International Law & Politics

Keywords / Tags:

refugee determination system; Immigration and Refugee Protection Act; asylum-seekers; migration controls; illegal immigration;