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Legal Aid For Immigrants – Refugees and Immigrants at Risk

Like many other countries in the West, Canada also provides legal aid for immigrants and refugees if and when they face any kind of persecution in the court of law. However, the recent steps taken by the federal government has cut down on funding for these legal aids. As it has been announced, no legal aid for refugees and immigrants will be provided in British Columbia from August 1, 2017.

legal aid for immigrants
legal aid for immigrants – Funding is important to support immigrants

Why is the funding required for Legal Aid to Immigrants?

Legal Services Society of B.C. will stop their legal aid for immigrants and refugees services starting from 1st August.  They said that the government has failed to provide the required funding to the organization. The funding is required essentially to defend the immigrants and refugees in court. With this new rule, the immigrants will face new hardships in Canada. The government has said that they don’t have enough money. But the society needs and additional $1 Million to effectively provide its services. In this confusion, the immigrants lie in a total sense of confusion and worry.

How will Stopping Legal Aid to Immigrants affect the Immigration and the immigrants?

The new sanctions will create it difficult for the immigrants or refugees to defend themselves when they will face deportation or prosecution. Most of them are not at par with the level of Canadian education and are not good at English or French.

This will lead to a language barrier, proving to be a disadvantage for them. Moreover, they are unaware of the Canadian rules and laws and that will not be beneficial when they are defending themselves in court. Keeping this in mind, Legal Services Society of B.C. has written to Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, for an increase in the funding as a humanitarian duty.

Increase in refugee cases – These Immigration would be denied Legal Aid

Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society is another such legal service organization that has provided legal aids to a number of refugees over time. The society has said that there has been an increase in the refugee cases in the last year.  The society had provided legal aid to 350 refugee cases in 2013-14, but the number doubled to 860 in 2016-17.

Thanks to Trump’s Policies in USA- Canada witnessing large influx of Refugee Immigrants

This has been a result of Trump’s anti-immigration sentiment in USA. The society has seen a surge in this year as they are registering more than 100 cases per month. This major spike is the reason that the legal societies need more federal funding.

Most refugees who apply for legal aid could not afford a lawyer.  These sanctions put them at a risk of getting deported to their country and ultimately face persecution there.

Any Hope for Immigrants requiring Legal Aid?

As the refugee crisis is getting worse day by day. As people flee from their home in Syria, Libya and other war-torn countries, where living has become impossible, it is important that they feel safe in the country they are taking refuge in. Even though there has been a cut in funding, the Legal Services Society has said that they will help the unrepresented clients in any way possible. The society will post online, all the necessary materials needed to defend, in different languages.

Also Read- Seeking Asylum in Canada now becoming easier


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