Minister Kenney Applauds RCMP’s Citizenship and Immigration Fraud Investigation

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Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney offered his appreciation today to the Toronto West (Milton) detachment of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) for their ongoing efforts to investigate citizenship and immigration fraud:

“On January 6, 2011, an investigation by the Immigration and Passport and Commercial Crime sections of the RCMP resulted in criminal charges against three individuals who created the appearance that hundreds of individuals living overseas had met the residence obligation required to retain permanent resident status or to obtain Canadian citizenship.

“Residence fraud in the immigration and citizenship programs is a matter of increasing concern. In this investigation alone, 260 files were implicated and five people have obtained Canadian citizenship. Consequences for citizenship fraud may include criminal prosecution, revocation of citizenship and removal from Canada. Permanent residents who commit fraud may lose their permanent resident status and may be subject to removal from Canada. As indicated in media reports, there are a number of other ongoing police investigations regarding potential residence fraud across Canada.

“I am greatly concerned with this situation. This is why I have tabled amendments to the Citizenship Act to strengthen the penalties for both applicants and third parties who assist them in completing a fraudulent application. The proposed new penalty for fraud would be a fine of up to a maximum of $100,000 or five years in prison or both.

“Crooked consultants heap misery upon their victims and pose a serious threat to the integrity of Canada’s immigration system. All levels of government and law enforcement must work together to ensure that those who commit fraud are dealt with appropriately,” stated Minister Kenney.

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