Anne Minh-Thu Quach Demands Real Protection For Refugees

VALLEYFIELD – NDP member Anne Minh-Thu Quach (Beauharnois–Salaberry) strongly criticizes Bill C-4, which punishes refugees rather than protecting them. The bill also fails to prevent human smuggling, the goal it was meant to achieve.

“Stephen Harper’s Conservatives are once again attacking vulnerable groups. Refugees, who are fleeing violence, poverty and persecution, will risk being detained for a year, without access to the review process assured by international charters and with no possibility of family reunification for 5 years,” criticized the MP.

Anne Minh-Thu Quach herself was born to a refugee family that came to Canada after fleeing a repressive regime in Vietnam. The fate of refugees touches her personally, which is why she addressed the inherent dangers of the bill in the House of Commons.

“When my parents fled, in the middle of the night, without papers, and with just a few dollars in their pockets, they were risking their lives as well as those of my brothers, 1 and 3 years. Had there been legislation like this in place, they would have been detained with my brothers for 12 months, at the discretion of the Minister. It’s completely arbitrary and discriminatory.”

Refugee rights groups have raised concerns that the bill may violate international conventions signed by Canada. The bill would also treat refugees arriving in large groups at the minister’s discretion, differently than others.

NDP is asking the government to review the bill to ensure real protection for refugees.