OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 12/05/12 -- The Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety, today released the following statement:
"Canada is well-known for its reputation as a tolerant nation, one that welcomes newcomers from all parts of the globe. Unfortunately, this reputation has also made us a target for criminal syndicates. These criminals carry out human smuggling operations that threaten the integrity of our immigration system.
Today, pursuant to the powers granted to me as Minister of Public Safety, I have designated five groups of foreign nationals who illegally crossed the Canada-U.S. border in the province of Quebec on February 2, 2012; April 26, 2012; October 11, 2012; October 19, 2012; and October 23, 2012 as irregular arrivals.
The facts I have reviewed have provided me with reasonable grounds to suspect that these arrivals have occurred as part of a human smuggling operation, in contravention of section 117 (1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, for profit or in association with a criminal organization.
With this action the designated foreign nationals will be subject to a series of measures such as a five-year ban on applying for permanent resident status, sponsoring family members, or receiving a Refugee Travel Document.
With the passage of the Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act and today's designation, Canada is sending a strong message: we will take decisive action against those who earn their livelihood by criminally exploiting Canada's immigration system. Canada will not sit idly by while our generous refugee and immigration system is targeted by global human smuggling syndicates."
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Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Public Safety
Public Safety Canada