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So, how safe are our borders, really?

On Tuesday, the Auditor General released a report critical of border security issues.

In that report, the Auditor General highlighted a number of concerns regarding border security. 

In one part of the investigation, an examination was made regarding cases where the Canada Border Services Agency Officers are given instructions to “look out” for specific individuals.  In one part of the audit, the Auditor General found that of 34 “look-outs” put on the system for a period of time, four individuals successfully entered Canada.

In addition, the Auditor General also looked at a system when a traveler is referred to secondary inspection.  Secondary inspection is part of the process where the individual is referred for further questioning by immigration officers.  They looked a sample of 49 targets and found that four of those targets were missed.  Of the four individuals who were missed, these people were identified as individuals of interest because of human smuggling, criminal inadmissibility or immigration fraud.

So, the big question is, how can the Canada Border Services Agency miss so many people that are on their “watch list”? In addition to missing people on this list, how many more individuals are able to get into Canada who should not be here?  Not every traveler to Canada who may not entitled to enter is on a “watch list”.  Many times, Border Services Officers must make decisions on travelers that they know nothing about.  Is the system stronger or weaker for these individuals?

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About Reis Pagtakhan

Reis Pagtakhan is an immigration law partner with MLT Aikins LLP. His extensive experience includes assisting businesses obtain temporary entry to Canada and permanent residency for their executives, employees and contractors from all over the world. Reis has lectured on and written papers on immigration law for the Law Society of Manitoba, the Manitoba Bar Association, the Human Resources Management Association of Manitoba, the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association, and the Community Legal Education Association of Manitoba. He has presented position papers before the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Immigration Department officials and Manitoba Labour and Immigration. He has written articles on immigration for the CBC, the Winnipeg Free Press, trade, industry and ethnic publications.

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