OTTAWA, Feb. 5 /CNW Telbec/ - Tom Godfrey states in his article, Scammers Prey on Haiti Hopefuls, that the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) has "urged its members to accept Haitian refugee claimants." The statement implies that IRB members are directed to accept or reject individual claims. This is untrue. IRB members are independent decision makers who determine each claim on its own merits based on the evidence presented before them.
The IRB is committed to working with our portfolio partners to support those affected by the earthquake in Haiti, and we continue to do this in a manner that is consistent with our mandate and arms-length relationship with the Government, as an independent tribunal.
To this end, the Immigration Appeal Division is accelerating the processing of Family Class sponsorship appeals for affected individuals and will use its discretionary jurisdiction to grant an appeal on humanitarian and compassionate grounds in appropriate cases. The Refugee Protection Division will accelerate the screening of all pending unscheduled Haitian refugee claims to determine whether they can proceed through the expedited interview process, without the necessity for a hearing.
Brian P. Goodman
Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
SOURCE Immigration and Refugee Board