Mr. Speaker, first, I would sincerely like to thank the hon. member for Winnipeg North for his forthright opposition to the bill, because nothing could more clearly demonstrate how far removed the Liberal Party has become from the common sense of Canadians on matters of immigration and national security than his opposition.
The member quoted from a wide array of left-wing immigration lawyers who have a stake in the broken status quo. They are the folks who make the appeals.
It is interesting. We have immigration lawyers who, funnily enough, he did not quote, who have done some of these appeals and who agree with the bill. He should know one of them, Reis Pagtakhan, who ran against him for his nomination. He said that the bill deserves support in the “provision that eliminates the right of permanent residents to appeal removals to the immigration appeal division for sentences of six months or more in prison. While some”--like some of the far left lawyers he quoted from, like Barbara Jackman--“argue that this would unfairly penalize long-term permanent residents who may be deported for their actions, what is missed in this argument is that the permanent residents who face deportation are criminals. It should be stated that these individuals are not alleged criminals; they are not accused; they are not innocent. They have been convicted of a crime in a court of law”.
Similarly, Julie Taub said:
I have represented those who have been found to be criminally inadmissible to Canada, and I have gone to the Immigration Appeal Division to get a stay of removal for them, successfully in almost all cases.... Unfortunately, the majority of the clients I have represented reoffend or they breach their conditions.... I listen to their heart-felt apologies and promises, but time and time again they reoffend and they breach the conditions.... I really support this bill because criminals remain in Canada who are not Canadian, and it's almost impossible to deport them.
Why did the member not listen at committee to the victims of violence, to the crime victims organizations, to the immigrant organizations, to the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, to the Canadian Police Association, all of whom endorsed this bill? Why did he disregard their pleas for us to deport serious convicted foreign criminals more quickly?