Canada’s border agency has failed to remove the majority of people currently under orders to depart from the country, according to the federal auditor general.
The auditor adds the efforts from the Canada Border Services Agency were hindered by case-management flaws and poor data quality, which were avoidable and caused thousands of cases to be delayed, reports Global News.
The auditor reported that a major problem was poor data entry, as more than 1,500 deportation orders were left unmonitored “largely because of errors made by immigration and agency officers when they entered the orders into the immigration database.”
There were also problems with providing information to immigration officials.
The CBSA lost track of about 34,700 people and did not perform regular follow-ups which include opening each file every three years, at least, or every year for people who have criminal histories.
The agency is responsible for acting on removal orders for public safety reasons but the auditor general says thousands of files—including high-priority removals—have not been touched by the agency for years.
The auditor added that the agency did not conduct check-ins on people who were already due to be deported “despite its mandate to enforce removal orders as soon as possible.”
“A case can sit inactive during the removal process for many valid reasons: Waiting for requested travel documents is one example. However… we determined that there were thousands of inactive cases in the agency’s working inventory with no explanation.”
The auditor suggested that a program be revived that pays a small amount to failed refugee claimants in order to leave the country. The CBSA agreed to the idea in its response adding that it will work to better track removals—especially for high-priority cases.