OTTAWA – Today, the Hon. Michelle Rempel, Official Opposition Critic for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, and the Hon. Tony Clement, Official Opposition Critic for Public Safety, issued the following statement after new reports revealed that the number of serious criminals entering Canada has increased as a result of the Liberal government’s decision to waive the visa on Mexico:
“Today’s reports reinforce the Conservative position that the careless decision to lift visas off Mexican nationals travelling to Canada was ill-conceived and not only jeopardizes the integrity of Canada’s immigration system, but presents significant public safety risks to Canadians.
“From the beginning we have urged this Liberal Government to follow standard process and conduct a formal risk assessment before removing the visa for Mexican travelers to Canada. They have, instead, ignored the advice of immigration officials which has caused a massive spike in false asylum claims and continues to place a heavy strain on both our immigration and judicial systems, hampering Canada’s ability to help the most vulnerable.
“Moreover, even when the Canadian Border Services Agency reported that Mexican drug cartels would be able to strengthen smuggling chains into Canada as a result of lifting this visa, there was silence from this government. The security risks of allowing these types of criminals to gain easier access into Canada puts the safety of Canadians at risk.
“Despite the strain on our immigration system and risk to public safety, last year’s projection from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada shows that lifting the visa requirement for Mexican travellers would cost taxpayers over $250 million in the next decade.
“We call on Prime Minister Trudeau to reinstate the visa on Mexico until concerns around false claims and criminality can be mitigated. It’s time the Liberals put the safety and security of Canadians ahead of their political agenda.”