Migrant Smuggling: Canada's Response to a Global Criminal Enterprise

Research output: Article


Migrant smuggling is a dangerous, sometimes deadly, criminal activity. Failing to respond effectively to migrant smuggling and deter it will risk emboldening those who engage in this illicit enterprise, which generates proceeds for organized crime and criminal networks, funds terrorism and facilitates clandestine terrorist travel, endangers the lives and safety of smuggled migrants, undermines border security, and undermines the integrity and fairness of immigration systems. Introduced in the Canadian House of Commons in June 2011, the Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada’s Immigration System Act (Bill C-4) includes proposed amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act that would enhance the existing offense of migrant smuggling, modify the general detention provisions for foreign nationals on arrival in Canada on grounds of serious criminality, criminality, or organized criminality, and require mandatory detention for groups of smuggled migrants. This article analyzes Bill C-4 and proposes amendments to it that would provide a more balanced response to migrant smuggling. The article concludes by arguing that a comprehensive approach to addressing migrant smuggling ultimately requires three primary strategies be pursued together at the national and international levels: (1) national jurisdictions must take greater action to discourage illegal migration and disrupt migrant smuggling operations and through international cooperation; (2) national jurisdictions must establish more efficient refugee-determination processes and expedient procedures to remove failed claimants; and, (3) as part of the solution, the international community should continue to develop a proactive response to the global refugee situation.

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
JournalAll Faculty Publications
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2013

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