Auditor General Michael Ferguson reported that hundreds of immigrants to Canada used fraud to obtain citizenship, but Canada’s immigration system about to get more lax
And since Ferguson’s number – 700 bogus new Canadians – is based on a relatively small sampling of immigration applications, the actual number is likely in the thousands or even tens of thousands.
The most common fraud is the use of fake addresses to prove residency. Newcomers have mail, government documents or utility bills delivered to a legitimate address. But they don’t live there, it only appears they do.
Ferguson learned of one address used by 50 different applicants, most of whom never darkened the home’s door.
The immigrants live elsewhere, typically out of the country. Yet after using the bogus address to build up enough residency credit, they qualify for citizenship. And after they have citizenship, it is a very long, costly and complicated process to revoke it.
It’s bad enough that ordinary immigrants abuse our laws and generosity to gain false entry. What’s worse is that Ferguson showed many hardened criminals also game the system to obtain a citizenship card.
In some cases, the problem is lack of communication among departments. In one of the worst examples, the Immigration department (which grants residency and citizenship) was not told by the RCMP or the Canada Border Services Agency about outstanding warrants or security concerns for four applicants with long criminal pasts.