New Measures to Crack Down on Human Smuggling

Under the Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act, the Government is cracking down on human smugglers by:

  • allowing the Minister of Public Safety to designate the arrival of a group of people into Canada as an irregular arrival, and make those involved subject to the Act’s measures
  • making it easier to prosecute human smugglers
  • imposing mandatory minimum prison sentences on convicted human smugglers, and
  • holding ship owners and operators accountable for use of their ships in human smuggling operations.

Under the Act, the Government is ensuring the safety and security of our streets and communities by:

  • detaining participants in a designated irregular arrival. Detention reviews will occur within 14 days followed by another review every six months until a positive decision is made on the refugee claim by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, or until they are ordered released by the IRB or by the Minister, and
  • those designated foreign nationals who are under 16 will be excluded from mandatory detention.

Under the Act, the Government is also reducing the attraction of coming to Canada by way of a designated irregular arrival by:

  • preventing those individuals from applying for permanent resident status for a period of five years which prevents people from sponsoring family members during that time.

In addition, the Government is:

  • ensuring the health benefits these people receive are not more generous than those received by the Canadian public, and
  • enhancing the ability to seek a review of the protected person status of those who return to their country of origin, and who demonstrate in other ways that they are not in legitimate need of Canada’s protection or who misrepresented themselves when they applied for refugee status. This applies to all refugee claimants, not just those who came to Canada as part of a designated irregular arrival.
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