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Embassy Magazine – March 30, 2011 Anca Gurzu The government has released much awaited criteria for designating which countries will be considered “safe,” meaning asylum seekers coming from them will be processed faster. While experts have generally welcomed the regulations, there are worries the process could become politicized as the immigration minister has a fair degree of latitude while the guidelines themselves are considered fairly limited. The “designated countries of origin” provision is a key and controversial aspect of the reformed refugee legislation, whose purpose is to deter unfounded claims. It allows the immigration minister to create a list of countries from which Canada is receiving large influx of refugee claims, but which are also considered to have sound human rights records. Nationals from those countries arriving at Canada’s borders will go through an expedited assessment process, which includes less time to file an appeal. The minister can start assessing…

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