Canada is adding another eight countries to a list of safe places, making it harder for refugee claimants from those countries to get asylum.
Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says he's adding Mexico, Israel, Australia and others to a list of "designated countries of origin," safe countries whose refugee claimants have a streamlined process to prove they have genuine need for asylum.
The new countries are:
That brings the total countries on the list to 35, including the United States. Hungary, which has generated a spike in claims from ethnic Roma, is on the list, although Romania and Bulgaria are not.
Mexican visitors to Canada will still need a visa, although a Canadian official says that will be re-examined once they know by how much the number of claimants falls.
Refugee claimants from the 35 countries will be fast-tracked with no right of appeal for a negative decision.
All applicants have the right to a judicial review of their case by the Federal Court to ensure it was handled properly, but those from the countries designated as safe won't be able to appeal the decision with the Immigration and Refugee Board.
Coming from a safe country of origin means claimants will:
A refugee reform bill implemented last December allows for countries to be placed on the list if their claims have a rejection rate of at least 75 per cent at the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, or a withdrawn and abandoned rate of at least 60 per cent. But Kenney has reserved the right to place any country on the list if he deems it to be democratic, with an independent judiciary.
Refugee advocates say the new rules will lead to more mistakes in the refugee determination process, and could see people sent back to persecution or even death in their home countries.