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Expert urges care with refugee claims

Dec. 4, 2010 at 8:38 PM

OTTAWA, Dec. 4 (UPI) -- Canada must avoid wholesale deportation of illegal immigrants without screening them for legitimate claims to asylum, an expert says.

Professor Peter Showler of the University of Ottawa said there is no reliable international system of determining genuine refugees, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported Saturday. He called for "some very serious effort to ensure there aren't wholesale deportations without some kind of screening process."

The government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper is trying to stem the flow of asylum-seekers into Canada and to crack down on those who smuggle illegal immigrants. Ward Elcock, the country's special envoy on human trafficking, recently called for international screening of refugees and an effort to improve conditions in the countries that contribute migrants globally.

Showler said trying to identify refugees is a "difficult messy business."

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