Customs and Immigration Union (CIU)

Customs and Immigration Union (CIU)

October 22, 2010 09:36 ET

The Customs and Immigration Union Welcomes the Introduction of Bill C-49

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 22, 2010) - The union representing Canada's Front-Line, Immigration Inland Enforcement, and Immigration Hearings Officers today announced its support upon the introduction of Bill C-49 'Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada's Immigration System Act' to combat people smuggling.

"The Government has taken decisive action towards confronting a widely recognized defect in our border security, immigration and refugee systems. The introduction of Bill C-49, which amends the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and other Acts, is carefully focused to deal with those who would smuggle persons into Canada and those who seek to fraudulently exploit Canadian compassion and generosity to persons in genuine need of refugee asylum. We are pleased with the targeted approach taken and the focus on creating systemic disincentives for persons that deliberately avoid the existing advance screening processes hoping instead to overwhelm our processing systems by concealing their identities." said CIU National President, Ron Moran.

Among its provisions the newly introduced Bill will, in defined circumstances, enable the Minister of Public Safety to direct a special designation status that has tangible restrictive consequences in terms of release from custody, appeals, eligibility for permanent residency, and ability to remain in Canada while contesting a negative ruling. The Bill also creates meaningful mandatory minimum sentences for persons engaged in the organized criminality of people smuggling and human trafficking and expands detention criteria to include persons reasonably suspected to be engaged in such activities. In addition to these important legislative procedural reforms, the Government of Canada has embarked on a series of measures to proactively enhance international cooperation on people smuggling with a special focus on operations that occur by sea.

Moran concluded his comments by noting that "Preventing people smuggling into Canada, wherever it occurs, and achieving improved screening of persons seeking entry to Canada have long been issues on which the CIU has advocated action. The initiatives announced today represent significant steps towards enhancing Canadian security by easing the front-line enforcement abilities for our members and by supporting the refugee determination process for genuine refugees. These measures are certain to stimulate a sentiment of added seriousness and professionalism to the work of Front-Line and Hearings Officers which, in and of itself, is significant given Canada Border Services Agency employee morale currently sits at the lowest in the Public Service according to the Agency's own survey. We look forward to working with Minister Toews, Minister Kenney and the Government to ensure that the important details of Bill C-49 fully achieve their intended and important goals."

The Customs and Immigration Union (CIU) is a component of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), which represents Canada's Front-Line Customs and Immigration Officers. CIU also represents Investigation, Intelligence and Trade Customs Officers, Immigration Inland Enforcement and Hearings Officers, as well as all support staff – all of whom work at the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

Contact Information

  • Customs and Immigration Union (CIU)
    Ron Moran
    National President
    Customs and Immigration Union (CIU)
    Jonathan Choquette
    Communications & Political Coordination Officer