The Canadian Federal government has released a new report that states hundreds of national security risks, from terrorists to spies and others were turned away at the border in 2016.
The government report, which was published with very little fanfare by the ruling Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, claims that 310 individuals were rejected at the border in total. Of those 310, seven were said to be active members of terrorist groups and “engaging in terrorism,” the Toronto Sun reports.
79 people were rejected entry into the country for either belonging to a terrorist organization or a group that may try and subvert the Canadian govenrment, though not actively engaged in terrorist activities.
Terrorists and members of terrorist organizations were not the only people rejected. Nine people were considered to be “engaging in an act of espionage or subversion,” and 13 people accused of “subversion by force” were also turned away by authorities.
The refusals come under the Section 34 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) which stipulates who may or may not enter the country.
Among the 310 were also 48 persons who are considered to have committed war crimes or crimes against humanity. In Switzerland, former Gambian Interior Minister Ousman Sonko claimed asylum, but is now being investigated for crimes against humanity by Swiss prosecutors and may face criminal charges.
The Canadian government turned a total of 1.4 million people away from the border in 2016. Most were denied access to Canada because they had lied on their application for an entry visa.
The report does not state the origin country of the people rejected on terrorism grounds, leading to speculation regarding the success of the vetting process for the Canadian refugee program which has brought over tens of thousands of Syrians to Canada over the past year.
On the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) “Most Wanted” website there are two migrants who became Canadian citizens wanted for terrorist offenses.
Maiwand Yar originally from Pakistan is said to have been radicalized while living in Canada as a University student in Manitoba along with Ferid Ahmed Imam, originally from Ethiopia. Both men migrated to Canada at a young age and are thought to have left the country to join the Taliban in Pakistan.
After the U.S. administration announced it would enforce a travel ban on several countries in the Middle East, Prime Minister Trudeau announced that Canada would welcome those who were rejected entry into the US under the ban. Trudeau said, “To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength.”