February 26, 2015 – Reported by the Toronto Star – Please note that the developments described below have serious implications for any new asylum seeker to Canada who has made previous claims in other countries. These changes could very well unintentionally harm prospects for ALL asylum seekers regardless of their individual circumstances.
OTTAWA—A veil of secrecy has dropped around a series of immigration information-sharing agreements between Canada and its “Five Eyes” allies.
In Washington this week, Francis Taylor, Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis, informed a congressional committee that “with the Five Country Conference — which includes Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom — we have concluded immigration information sharing agreements that reduce the likelihood that a person applying for asylum or a visa in any of the five countries who has an illicit past could hide that history.”
Testifying about the threat of foreign fighters and homegrown terror, Taylor said in addition to those agreements, Washington has built ties with other allies to improve its ability to detect terror threats or returning foreign fighters.
Ottawa, however, has not announced any deals other than efforts to iron out stronger information sharing with the U.S. through the Beyond the Border perimeter security agreement.
The Star requested further information Wednesday from Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander and his department about the status and nature of those information-sharing agreements, but interview requests were denied…story continues below…