‘Second class’ Canadians may lose citizenship

01:04 PM | 19 Jun, 2015
‘Second class’ Canadians may lose citizenship
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OTTAWA (Web Desk) - A new immigration law enacted by the Canadian government dictates that ‘second class’ citizens - immigrants who obtained Canadian citizenship - may have their citizenship status stripped at any point.

The new immigration bill which was enacted last week states that new Canadian citizens have lesser rights than those born Canadian, Emirates247 reported.

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Under this law, the only Canadians who can never lose their citizenship are those born in Canada who do not have another nationality (and are not eligible to apply for another nationality). No matter what crimes they may be accused of, these ‘first-class’ citizens can never have their citizenship taken away.

On the other hand, Canadians with another nationality (and those who are eligible to obtain another nationality) now have second-class status, even if they were born in Canada: under Bill C-24, their citizenship can be stripped.

There was stiff opposition to the rule in Canada because many claimed that since this cannot happen to those born in Canada, the new law would be discriminatory. The government of Canada has justified the new law saying that was meant to protect Canadians.

“Our Government knows that there is no higher purpose for any government than to ensure the safety and security of its citizens…that is why we are taking steps to confront the ever evolving threat of jihadi terrorism by revoking citizenship of dual nationals who have been convicted of heinous crimes such as terrorism, espionage for foreign governments or taking up arms against Canada and our brave men and women in the Canadian Armed Forces.” Chris Alexander, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister was quoted as saying.

Legal experts warn that the list of offences that could lead to the removal of citizenship might be expanded in the future. Additionally, Bill C-24 punishes criminal activity with exile - a practice abandoned hundreds of years ago that has no place in today’s democracy.