Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is under pressure to take action after a rise in crime is revealed to be directly linked to a wave of migration from Romania.
A report released yesterday claimed that Trudeau’s decision to drop the requirement for Romanian’s to obtain a visa before travelling to Canada has led to a “noticeable increase” in organised crime activity.
“The lifting of the visa requirement for Romanian nationals on December 1, 2017, has precipitated a noticeable increase of the activities of Romanian-based Organized Crime Groups (ROCs) targeting Canada,” the report says.
The relaxed visa rules came into force after the Romanian government said it might withhold support for the Canadian-EU free trade deal unless the country eased visa restrictions.
Opposition MP Michele Rempel said she was concerned the government had relaxed visa rules for Romanians without having a strategy in place to deal with the problems that caused the previous government to toughen the visa rules in the first place.
“I’m particularly concerned about sex trafficking in this context,” she said.
She asked Trudeau: “Will the Canadian government reinstate visas for Romanians and keep Canada safe?”
He responded:”We are continuing to work with the Romanian government to ensure that our system works. We are working with them now to look at ways to ensure that organised crime and others are not using and abusing Canada’s immigration system. This is something we take seriously.”
Paul MacKinnon, assistant deputy minister with the Canadian Immigration Department, revealed that in the first five months of visa liberalisation, 1,022 Romanians had filed asylum claims in the country.
He said the numbers were “not worrying” but said “it’s a phenomenon we need to approach in a serious manner.”