Bill C-24 Would Create Two Classes of Citizenship

By Andy Semotiuk | June 4, 2014

Toronto immigration lawyer Andy SemotiukToronto immigration lawyer Andy Semotiuk: Some more developments in regards to Bill C-24. Not everyone is happy with the rule changes to Canadian citizenship coming up:

Representatives of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association delivered a petition with more than 26,000 names of people opposed to federal immigration reforms to an office of Citizenship and Immigration Tuesday as a spokesperson said legal action may be a next step.

The association says Bill C-24 creates a class of second-class citizens with fewer rights than other Canadians. Under the law, Canadians could lose their citizenship in certain cases such as when there are suspicions that a dual citizen has committed certain types of fraud in applying to become a Canadian.

Fines and maximum jail time in citizenship fraud cases would also be increased as a result of the bill, which would also force would-be Canadians to wait longer to apply for citizenship.

Add me to the petition list on this one. The government bill as drafted does not make sense, at least as far as the Canadian citizenship measures are concerned.

Extending waiting times to gain citizenship does not necessarily guarantee better citizens. As well, the effort to strip citizens of citizenship for fraud echoes back to earlier efforts in this area by the government. These efforts were unpopular because you end up with two classes of citizenship: those who have citizenship no matter what, and those who are vulnerable to being stripped of citizenship due to criminal behaviour.
Such behaviour should be addressed in Canada’s criminal courts, instead of dumping the problem on other countries that may be even less able to address the seriousness of the charges.

Andy Semotiuk is a Canadian and US immigration lawyer with immigration law firm Pace Immigration. You can learn more about Andy at My Work Visa.