Kenney amends controversial refugee bill

CBC News

Immigration minister bends to pressure, dials back detention provisions in omnibus bill

By Louise Elliott, CBC News

Posted: May 9, 2012 11:46 AM ET

Last Updated: May 9, 2012 6:06 PM ET

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Immigration Minister Jason Kenney is bending to opposition pressure and amending his controversial refugee omnibus bill, C-31.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, seen here earlier this month on Parliament Hill, is amending his omnibus immigration legislation in response to criticism about some of its measures. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, seen here earlier this month on Parliament Hill, is amending his omnibus immigration legislation in response to criticism about some of its measures. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)The amendment will introduce a 14-day and six-month review of the detention of so-called “mass arrivals” of refugees.

“People have raised concerns about this. We’ve studied the issue closely as a result of which the government has decided to amend the bill to allow for an initial detention review at 14 days initially, and then subsequently at six months,” Kenney told reporters Wednesday.

The bill originally stipulated a judicial review would only be necessary after those refugee claimants designated as “mass arrivals” by the minister had been in detention for one year.

Kenney also introduced another amendment to clarify that the government would not have the power to revoke the permanent residency of successful refugee claimants if conditions improve in their countries of origin, unless it was found they obtained their status through fraudulent means.

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