Many refugee claimants will be refused: immigration lawyer
Published Friday, August 4, 2017 6:33PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, August 4, 2017 6:55PM EDT
The busloads of asylum seekers arriving at the Olympic Stadium have a long way to go before they can call Canada home.
Ibrahim Yurtseven has been in Canada for ten days while awaiting his hearing before the Immigration and Refugee Board.
He fled his homeland fearing arrest, or worse.
"We risk being arrested in Turkey. If they can't find me, for example, at home, they might arrest my family or members of my family," said Yurtseven.
While he came to Canada, his family fled to Greece.
"My best wish, I want to join my family here," he said.
Many of the asylum seekers are Haitians who since the 2010 earthquake had been living under special visas in the United States, but illegally crossed into Canada in hopes of remaining here.
That is not guaranteed by any means, especially since Canada ended its protected visa status for Haitians last year.
Other border-jumpers are from Burundi, Palestine and Syria -- but refugee claimants arrive every day at Canadian airports.
There have been so many arrivals in the past two months that the English Montreal School Board wil open St. Raphael's school as a shelter.
Speaking Friday in Ontario, prime minister Justin Trudeau encouraged people to use official channels to get to Canada.
"Obviously we want want immigration to Canada to be done in an orderly fashion. There's border checkpoints and controls that we need to make sure are respected," said Trudeau.
Asylum seekers will only be sheltered for 30 days, and within two months they will have a hearing at the Immigration and Refugee Board where they will have to prove they have a valid refugee claim.
Immigration lawyer Richard Goldman expects that many people hoping to stay in Canada will be refused.
"The claimants have the complete legal burden of showing they meet the legal definition of refugee, which means they would face persecution back in their country or other serious harm like torture or threat to life," said Goldman.
Yurtseven believes he faces those threats in his native Turkey, and he is desperate to avoid them.
"We hope for a better life, for our children especially," said Yurtseven.
If his claim is accepted, he hopes to continue his career in Canada as a teacher and build a new life in a new land.