OTTAWA – Today, Hon. Michelle Rempel, Critic for Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship issued a statement on the reports that the Liberal government plans to lift the visa on Romanian and Bulgarian nationals:
“Last week the Liberals chose to lift the visa restriction on Mexico and turn a blind eye to concerns raised by department officials regarding national security and the integrity of our immigration system. Today, the Liberals are once again choosing to treat visa-free entry into our country as a bargaining chip to be used in a deal,” said Rempel.
“The Prime Minister seems determined to depart from the objective, evidenced-based system that evaluates security and immigration indicators to determine whether a visa should be in place or not.
“Now that the Liberals said they would lift the visa requirement for Mexico, based exclusively on a political decision, other countries that don't meet the criteria are lining up for the same special treatment.
“The United States has visas on several EU member states, and they are unlikely to lift them. In fact, their criteria for visa exemption are set in law.
“Trade is an integral part of our economy, but the stability of our immigration system also needs to be protected. The government can do both by working through the long established, formal review process.
“Conservatives call on the Liberal Government to uphold the integrity of our immigration system, and make its visa decisions based on evidence and sound planning.”
Prior to the implementation of a visa on Romania and Bulgaria, these countries were the source of numerous asylum claims. The majority of these claims were found to be baseless and were not accepted. Once an asylum claim is rejected, the cost of removing someone from Canada can range anywhere from $1,500-15,000. There is no evidence to suggest that the number of asylum claims won’t skyrocket at Canada’s expense once the visa is removed.