Stateless U.S. residents claiming refugee status in Canada expected to increase, lawyer says
'We can expect to see thousands of new cases streaming over the Canadian border and there's nothing we can do'
Canadian immigration lawyer Richard Kurland says he expects to see an influx of refugee claims in Canada from stateless residents who have been living in the U.S. for decades.
"We expect to see a rush in Canada of a very large number of people from the United States with immigration problems," said Kurland.
"They see and hear President Trump — they know what's coming. To save themselves, they will not go home — they will come to Canada to either buy time or buy a solution."
Kurland made the comments when he was asked about people like Waji Danoun — a 57-year-old man who lived in the U.S. for 39 years and has now filed a refugee claim in Canada.
"In the short run we can expect to see thousands of new cases streaming over the Canadian border and there's nothing we can do about it," he said.
"President Trump's enforcement policy is going to squeeze the immigration toothpaste tube in the United States and up the top they come to Canada."
"There was a deportation order standing against me in the United States," he said.
"The United States deemed me a stateless person because Lebanon — the country of my birth, does not have a record of my birth."
Danoun said he arrived in the U.S. in 1978 on a falsified passport, but was able to legally work and stay in the country for 39 years.
"I was under immigration probation … I was given an employment authorization … and was allowed to work and [had to] report periodically."
But this year, Danoun said, his employment card was not renewed.
Kurland said the chances are slim that any of these types of refugee claims would be successful in Canada.