Tag Archives: IRCC

Some illegal border crossers receive $224 in food and accommodation per day while awaiting processing

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Some illegal border crossers receive $224 in food and accommodation per day while awaiting processing

[Look at these figures: 42,386 illegals are each collecting $224 per day for food and lodging courtesy of the Canadian taxpayer as they await adjudication of their queue jumping “refugee” claim. ““The NDP-Liberal government is giving TEN TIMES the benefits to illegal border jumpers than it is giving to help Canadian seniors! DISGRACEFUL!” says Conservative MP Lianne Rood. For 30 years, Canada First has advocated that NO ONE should be allowed to show up in Canada and claim refugee status while feasting off the Canadian taxpayer. All immigration and refugee applications should be made to Canadian embassies and consulates and vetted abroad. If and ONLY if they qualify, should the applicants be admitted to Canada. — Paul Fromm, Director]

At the end of 2023, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada recorded 42,387 pending refugee claims by irregular border crossers

Tristin Hopper

Published May 13, 2024  •  3 minute read


Border crossers
This file photo taken on Aug. 20, 2017 shows a cab dropping off a couple of asylum seekers at the U.S./Canada border near Champlain, N.Y. At the end of 2023, the IRCC recorded 42,387 pending refugee claims by irregular border crossers. Photo by Geoff Robins /AFP / Getty Images

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As the number of Canada’s refugee claimants hits new highs, a Conservative MP has revealed that Ottawa budgets about $224 per day to feed and house some foreigners who claim asylum after illegally entering the country.

Last week, Conservative MP Lianne Rood uploaded documents to social media showing the government’s answer to her question about what “goods and services” are provided to foreigners who have claimed asylum in Canada — but have not yet had their applications reviewed by immigration authorities.

The average accommodation cost is “$140 per night per room,” and the average cost for meals is “$84 per day per claimant” — for a total of $224 per claimant, per day.

And the per diem cost may go even higher once factoring in the other “essential items” provided for free to claimants, including “toiletries, medicines, diapers.”

“Claimants in IRCC operated hotels, regardless of how they entered Canada, are provided with accommodations and meals once they are relocated,” read the official answer to Rood, signed by Paul Chiang, parliamentary secretary to the minister of diversity and inclusion.

“The NDP-Liberal government is giving TEN TIMES the benefits to illegal border jumpers than it is giving to help Canadian seniors! DISGRACEFUL!” wrote Rood in an accompanying caption to a May 7 post on X uploading the document.

As of the most recent figures by the IRCC, there are 156,032 pending asylum claims before the agency — although not all of them are in Canada and living within an IRCC hotel.

With many asylum seekers overwhelming municipally run shelters, the Trudeau government recently began the Interim Housing Assistance Program to “provide limited temporary accommodations for claimants who otherwise would not have a place to shelter.”

In November the program operated 3,800 rooms across Canada, housing approximately 7,000 claimants at a total annual cost of $557 million.

Rood’s question had been in regards to a specific category of asylum seeker referred to in federal circles as “irregular border crossers.” This is someone who entered Canada illegally before making an inland asylum claim. In official IRCC parlance, an irregular border crosser entered Canada “between official ports of entry.”

And in that category, pending claims are at historic highs. At the end of 2023, the IRCC recorded 42,387 pending refugee claims by irregular border crossers.

In just the last three months of 2023, 2,145 people made an asylum claim in Canada after illegally entering the country — an average of one every hour.

In that same three-month period, authorities would only process 4,139 cases out of a pre-existing queue of 44,000; 3,188 of which were accepted as official refugees, with the other 951 either rejected, withdrawn or abandoned.

The intake has stayed high despite the fact that the Trudeau government closed the infamous Roxham Road border crossing in March 2023.

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For six years, the rural Quebec location had been a conduit for more than 100,000 illegal border crossers. On the southern side, U.S. bus companies ran dedicated services for foreigners seeking to enter Canada and claim asylum. On the northern side, the RCMP spent millions to erect semi-permanent structures to process the influx.

Although Canada could have unilaterally closed the Roxham Road crossing at any time (as it did for several months during the COVID-19 pandemic), the Trudeau government waited until the U.S. had approved a minor modification to the Safe Third Country Agreement to start turning away irregular border crossers.

Regardless, 8,131 irregular border crossers entered Canada in the immediate three months after the Roxham Road closure — a rate higher than almost any point in the six years when the crossing was open.

Since the federal government first started keeping tabs on irregular border crossers in early 2017, 39,643 have been approved as official refugees to 22,611 who have been rejected — a ratio of roughly one rejected claimant for every two who had their case approved by IRCC.

Wealthy ‘ghost immigrants’ using empty homes to claim citizenship: tax expert

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Wealthy ‘ghost immigrants’ using empty homes to claim citizenship: tax expert

Tax and immigration specialist David Lesperance explains how so-called ‘ghost immigrants’ circumvent Canada’s immigration system.

Published Monday, January 29, 2018 10:58AM EST 
Last Updated Tuesday, January 30, 2018 7:42AM EST

Some foreign investors, particularly those from China, are taking advantage of Canadian loopholes to become ghost immigrants, according to David Lesperance, a tax and immigration consultant with Lesperance & Associates.

Lesperance cites one recent judge’s decision from a lawsuit in which the judge said Chinese millionaire Guoqing Fu bought multiple multi-million-dollar homes in Canada while claiming just $97 in worldwide income on his taxes. The judge’s 600-page ruling in the case was posted online earlier this month.

“That was really pushing the edge,” Lesperance told CTV’s Your Morning on Monday. He says the situation would have gone unnoticed if Fu’s family and his partners, the Xia family, had not turned on each other and exposed their activities in court.

“These were two parties…who fell out and decided to sue each other in civil court,” Lesperance said.

The judge’s ruling from the case indicates Fu “had a large and successful business in China,” yet he only claimed “a miniscule worldwide income of $97.11” on his Canadian income tax return, despite spending millions on three different homes. “This was an incredible assertion given the fact he owns one of the top 10 textile manufacturing and distribution companies, based in one of the biggest textile manufacturing centres of China,” the judge’s decision said.

Lesperance says wealthy foreigners are using these tactics to game the Canadian system because no one is investigating to verify that they’re actually physically living in Canada. He says the Canadian immigration system isn’t really looking at these people, and that the Canada Revenue Agency isn’t focused on them because it lacks the resources to do so.

A spokesperson for the CRA said it works with provincial and municipal governments to enforce local tax and principal residency laws.

“The government… is actively engaged in monitoring and addressing the overall health and stability of the housing market and financial system in Canada,” a spokesperson for the CRA told CTVNews.ca in a statement.

The CRA says it recovered $117.9 million by conducting 4,471 audits from April 2015 to September 2017 in B.C. It also recovered $331.2 million through 21,280 audits conducted over that same period in Ontario. The highest penalty was almost $2.5 million, according to the agency’s website.

“It is important to note that the mandate of the CRA is to administer the tax legislation provided by the Department of Finance,” the CRA spokesperson said, adding that issues of immigration fall under the mandate of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

An IRCC spokesperson said the department is continually working to improve its systems to detect fraud.

“The government of Canada takes any kind of citizenship or immigration fraud seriously,” a spokesperson told CTVNews.ca in a statement. The spokesperson added that the IRCC works with the RCMP and the Canada Border Services agency to enforce the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and its regulations, “including allegations of fraud.”

The IRCC points out that the CBSA is responsible for investigating suspected immigration fraud.

The CBSA has set up a hotline for reporting immigration or citizenship fraud.

Lesperance suggests foreign buyers are pulling off these schemes in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, where their homes are sitting empty despite high demand for housing in the area.

“While they are getting the benefits of Canadian permanent residence and citizenship, they are, like this gentleman, not contributing to the tax base,” Lesperance said. “They’re driving up house prices, they are denuding neighbourhoods of vibrancy and customers for local restaurants and businesses, and they’re not contributing to the tax base.”

Canada’s hottest markets have taken steps to curb this practice recently, by imposing foreign buyer taxes, as well as taxes on homes that sit vacant. Numbers released by Ontario in December show foreign home buying was down due to higher taxes in the latter part of the year.

Lesperance suggests the solution is for Revenue Canada to start cracking down on these individuals by auditing them – a process that is much easier to do now than it was 20 years ago because of social media and the internet.

“If they do that they will send a shock through this community,” he said. He suggests a wave of audits would force these investors to decide between paying their taxes in Canada or abandoning their pursuit of citizenship altogether.

Lesperance says this has been going on at least since the 1990s, when someone informed him about it by handing him what he calls a “scoundrel’s guide to circumventing the Immigration and Citizenship Act.”

Lesperance says the tactic is not isolated to one particular group.

“It’s not endemic to one particular group of immigrants,” Lesperance said. “It’s just endemic to immigrants who look at the situation and say, ‘It’s easy to cheat, I get all the benefits, the costs are low and they’re not chasing me.’

“And at the end of the day, you get citizenship.”