Tories Claim Canada’s New Asylum System Savings Over $600 Million

TORONTO — Conservatives saytheir new asylum system of favoringonly the most dangerous places fromwhere to get refugees has already savedCanada $600 million.In the year since comprehensivereforms to Canada’s asylum systemtook effect, the number of new asylumclaims from safe countries hasdecreased to historic lows, ensuringthat genuine refugees – truly vulnerablepeople from some of the world’s mostvolatile areas – receive faster and fairerprotection, Canada’s Citizenship andImmigration Minister Chris Alexanderannounced this week.Asylum claims from countries that historicallyproduced high numbers ofunfounded claims have dropped by adramatic 87 per cent. The overallreduction in asylum claims has alreadyresulted in greater than anticipated savingsto Canadian taxpayers of morethan $600 million in provincial and federalgovernment welfare, education andhealth-care costs. Overall savings areprojected to be more than $1.6 billionover five years.Quick Facts• In 2011, there were approximately6,300 asylum claims from EUcountries – more than from Africa orAsia.• Under the new rules, annualasylum claims from Hungary – an EUcountry and the top source country forasylum claims in Canada over the pastthree years with already high withdrawaland abandonment rates- havedeclined by an overwhelming 97 percent. • Asylum claims from the UnitedStates have also dropped significantly -down by roughly 80 per cent from theyear before.• Countries in distress, such asAfghanistan, Congo, Egypt, Somalia andSyria, now rank among the top 10 sourcecountries for asylum claims in Canada.“The new system is working and we areproviding faster protection to those ingenuine need. By reducing the number ofunfounded claims, we are able to focusour resources on refugees who truly needCanada’s protection. Canadians take greatpride in the generosity and compassion ofour immigration and refugee programs,but we have no tolerance for those whoseek to take unfair advantage of our country.The success of the new system after ayear demonstrates that we have reinforcedthe integrity of the system and are guardingagainst abuse of our generosity,” saidAlexander.

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