Mr. Jain reflects on the state of Canada’s immigration system, discussing the backlog of applications that was allowed to accumulate during the pandemic and the impact this has had on individuals. He highlights the fact that customer service at Immigration Canada has been at an all-time low, making it difficult to seek relief for deserving and emergency cases. He suggests that the real problem lies in the mismanagement of staff during the pandemic, rather than a lack of staff to process applications. Mr. Jain also raises concerns about the government’s handling of immigration consultants, who are not subject to adequate regulation.
Mr. Jain also discusses the lack of transparency and consultation around issues such as the Safe Third Country Agreement, which has faced criticism for violating non-refoulement. He argues that the better approach would have been to scrap the agreement altogether and ensure that refugee hearings occur quickly and decisions are made in a timely fashion. He also notes the government’s desire for a culture shift within the department, with the Prime Minister advocating for a less enforcement-minded approach and a more facilitative one for visitor visas. However, Mr. Jain cautions that program integrity should not be abandoned and a balance must be struck.
Overall, Mr. Jain suggests that there are several areas for improvement in Canada’s immigration system, including the backlog of applications, customer service, and the regulation of immigration consultants. He also emphasizes the need for transparency and consultation on issues such as the Safe Third Country Agreement and refugee determination. While the government may be seeking a culture shift, he argues that program integrity should remain a priority.