This is not exactly a direct response to Roberta Cohen’s excellent piece which was linked on CanKor a few days ago. As the Canadian situation is much different than the American one, it is impossible to respond directly to a different fact scenario. However, as many of the issues Roberta pointed out are salient in the Canadian context, these commonalities can certainly be a starting point for discussion on how to respond to the curious case of North Korean refugees.
As an advocate for North Korean refugees in the past, I can certainly comment on the situation in Canada and some of the challenges that have arisen since North Koreans magically started appearing en masse in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver in late 2005 and early 2006. These comments are my own, and do not reflect the opinions of HanVoice, an organization which I am still a part of. However, to balance this with another disclaimer, as a federal public servant working in the field of immigration enforcement, there is very little I can publicly comment on when it comes to our actual policies regarding North Koreans. The small suggestions I will make are my own and do not reflect the views of the government of Canada. Read the rest of this entry »