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Recently an almost 30-year-old Nigerian managed to join an Ontario high school on a scholarship. He managed to get through multiple screenings and was only found out when the school applied for an American visa and the authorities alerted Canadian authorities.
This is apparently no isolated case. Michael Fergusson, the Canadian auditor general has found that applicants with serious criminal records and others providing fraudulent documents are securing Canadian citizenship. A major flaw in the system.
It was also found that the immigration department wasn’t getting timely or enough information from border officials or the RCMP either to help flag suspect cases.
The problems range from immigration officials not routinely checking travel documents against a database of known fake papers to a failure by officers or their computers to flag problematic addresses that could point to residency fraud.
In one instance, it took seven years for official to cotton on to the fact a single address had been used by at least 50 different applicants during overlapping time periods. Of the 50, seven became Canadian citizens.
A review of 49 cases where an individual’s address had been flagged as problematic concluded that in 18 instances, citizenship officials didn’t follow up to see if the applicant actually met residency requirements.
In four cases, the RCMP failed to tell the Immigration Department about criminal charges laid against people who’d already passed the criminal records check step of the citizenship process. Two eventually became citizens; a third failed the knowledge test while the fourth abandoned their application.
Four people who should have been ineligible because of their criminal records, but were granted citizenship.
Tuesday’s collection of audits also flagged problems at the start of many people’s path to citizenship — the Immigration and Refugee Board, which handles asylum claims. – CINEWS