Candice Malcolm: Why we can’t remove a foreign criminal

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(This column originally appeared in the Toronto Sun)

Sanity prevailed this week, as Chief Justice Paul S. Crampton of the Federal Court overturned earlier decisions to release a violent refugee back onto our streets.

The Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) had, on at least seven previous occasions, ruled to release hardened criminal and Rwandan refugee Jacob Damiany Lunyamila, despite a long list of disturbing criminal convictions.

Lunyamila arrived in Canada — without documentation — in 1994, and was granted refugee status in 1996.

Since then, according to the federal court decision, he has had “approximately 389 police encounters” which “resulted in 95 criminal charges and 54 convictions.”

“Ten of those convictions were for assaults that included punching his ex-girlfriend in the face and randomly attacking innocent civilians” the federal judge states in his decision, released Tuesday. “He has also been convicted for sexual assault and carrying a concealed weapon, namely, an axe.”

Vancouver police described him as a chronic offender and persistent criminal.

Canada has been trying to deport this thug back to his native Rwanda, but Lunyamila refuses to leave.

He will not cooperate with Canada’s removal system, and has vowed to never sign the required documents to complete his deportation order.

Instead, this foreign criminal, deemed inadmissible to Canada on grounds of criminality, continues to take advantage of our generosity and parade through our prison system.

His case demonstrates just how difficult it can be to remove a person once they’re here.

While his case certainly isn’t the norm among asylum seekers, it does underline the importance of screening would-be refugees before they are accepted and admitted into Canada.

The Trudeau government should take note.

A report released by the Department of Immigration, in response to an Access to Information request from Postmedia, shows the results of the interview process in admitting Syrian refugees.

While the Trudeau government was in a rush to resettle 25,000 Syrians in just a few short weeks in late 2015 — trying frantically to accomplish a campaign pledge — Canadian immigration officials in Beirut were encountering a number of red flags.

The report shows 4% of Syrian applicants were rejected by Canadian officials, including a Syrian government official who was complicit in human rights abuses, a person considered a threat to Canada’s national security and three individuals involved in “subversion by force”.

Canada’s vetting system was successful in stopping a handful of criminals from becoming refugees, but the process is by no means perfect.

When sponsoring refugees from a war zone, in the case of Syria, a failed state with a sizable terrorist insurgency, we lack local knowledge and the ability to verify testimonies or cross-check with local security forces.

Canadian officials found reason to stop...(READ MORE)