Canadian Council for Refugees
For immediate release
15 January 2010
CCR urges special immigration measures for Haiti
The Canadian Council for Refugees expressed today its deep distress at the catastrophe in Haiti and offered its sympathies to all people of Haitian origin in Canada, many of whom arrived here as refugees.
The CCR is pleased that the Canadian government is considering a special immigration response and urges them to ensure that the measures are sufficiently flexible, expedited and generous to respond to the needs.
The CCR is conscious of the following needs, among others:
- Family reunification files currently being processed and which need to be expedited (average processing times at Port-au-Prince for family reunification for refugees is 15 months).
- The many Haitians who have been in Canada for years, but are still without permanent residence. The existing moratorium protects them from deportation, but without permanent residence they have no access to family reunification, nor many other rights and benefits.
- Haitian refugee claimants who are impatiently waiting a hearing.
- Haitians who wish to sponsor family members but who can’t do so because the rules are so restrictive.
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For more information:
- Backgrounder: Special immigration measures for Haiti
- The barriers to family reunification
- Haitian nationals in Canada without permanent status
Colleen French, Communication Coordinator, (514) 277-7223, ext. 1