Bill C-31 & Designated Country of Origin

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Historically, Canada has held a world renowned reputation as nation with a magnanimous ideological approach to providing asylum to those individuals subjected to marginalization and persecution in their homeland – regardless of their nation of origin (Ismaili, 2011, p.89 & 92). Indeed, providing sanctuary to refugees who would otherwise experience significant hardships ranging from blatant discrimination and racism to torture and genocide, has very much become an institutionalized aspect of Canadian society. However, recent changes to Canada’s immigration policy delineated in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Bill C-31 may have perhaps put this ideology in peril (Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, 2001). One of the more disconcerting aspects of Bill C-31 is the newly adopted Designated Country of Origin (DCO) legislation which has permanently labeled particular nations as “safe”. Consequently, individuals claiming refugee status who originate from these countries no longer have the same rights and privileges afforded to their refugee counterparts from other nations (“Overview of C-31,” 2013). In turn, this has led to a dichotomy between those who view this change as necessary in order to diminish the influx of embellished and falsified refugee claims and those who view this policy as discriminatory and prejudiced towards people originating from certain nations. The Case for DCO Legislation The primary purpose of the DCO legislation introduced in Bill C-31 is deterrence; by combating the influx of refugees who are abusing the immigration system by residing in Canada when they are in no immediate danger in their native homeland, it is hoped that the number of false refugee claims will be drastically red... ... middle of paper ... ...oogeyman.html Jiwani, Y. (2011). Mediations of race and crime: Racializing crime, criminalizing race. In Perry, B. (ed.). Diversity, Crime and Justice in Canada. Don Mills, Ontario: Oxford University Press. Levine-Rasky, C., Beaudoin, J., & St. Clair, P. (2014). The exclusion of Roma claimants in Canadian refugee policy. Patterns of Prejudice, 48(1), 67-93. Making Canada’s asylum system faster and fairer. (2012). Retrieved from Overview of C-31 refugee determination process. (2013). Retrieved from Zong L. & Perry, B. (2011). Chinese immigrants in Canada and social injustice: From overt to covert racial discrimination. In Perry, B. (ed.). Diversity Crime and Justice in Canada. Don Mills, Ontario: Oxford University Press.

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