Archived - Evaluation of the Immigration Investigations Sub-Program
December 2015

Program Evaluation Division Internal Audit and Program Evaluation Directorate

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Note

[*] An asterisk appears where sensitive information has been removed in accordance with the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act.

Acronyms and Abbreviations

BWL
Border Watch Line
CBSA
Canada Border Services Agency
CIC
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
CID
Criminal Investigations Division
DPR
Departmental Performance Report
E&I
Enforcement and Intelligence
EIOD
Enforcement and Intelligence Operations Directorate
EIPD
Enforcement and Intelligence Program Directorate
GTA
Greater Toronto Area Region
HR
Human Resources
MOU
Memorandum of Understanding
IRB
Immigration and Refugee Board
IRPA
Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
IRCC
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
IED
Inland Enforcement Division
IEO
Inland Enforcement Officer
ISU
Integrated Support Unit (Pacific Region)
NHQ
National Headquarters
NOR
Northern Ontario Region
NSSD
National Security Screening Division
PRRA
Pre-Removal Risk Assessment
PRRA-Bar
Pre-Removal Risk Assessment Bar
RPP
Report on Plans and Priorities
SOPs
Standard Operating Procedures
SOR
Southern Ontario Region
WRC
Warrant Response Centre

Acknowledgements

The authors of this report would like to thank the CBSA officers, managers, supervisors and other personnel in the regions who participated in the field research, responded to the survey, provided data and their insights into the program. The evaluation team extends their gratitude to staff in National Headquarters (NHQ) Operations Branch, NHQ Programs Branch , NHQ Human Resources Branch and NHQ Comptrollership Branch for their assistance (especially to the program data teams who worked with us throughout this report to secure the most accurate and timely data possible).

Executive Summary

Program Profile

The Inland Enforcement Division (IED) of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) investigates foreign nationals and permanent residents in Canada who are or may be inadmissible to Canada, which may result in the removal of the person from Canada. IED includes four sub-programs: Immigration Investigations, Immigration Hearings, Detentions and Removals. IED along with the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) and Intelligence Division (ID) make up the Enforcement and Intelligence Operations Directorate (EIOD), which is overseen by the CBSA Programs and Operations Branches. The focus of this evaluation is the Immigration Investigations Sub-Program.

Evaluation Purpose and Scope

The purpose of the evaluation is to determine the degree to which the Immigration Investigations Sub-program supports the delivery of the Government of Canada and CBSA immigration-enforcement-related priorities and the achievement of Immigration Enforcement Program outcomes in a cost-efficient way. The scope of this evaluation was approved by the Executive Evaluation Committee in November 2014 Footnote 1.

List of Findings and Recommendations

Continued Need

There is a continued need for the Immigration Investigations Sub-Program. This program helps ensure foreign nationals who may pose a threat to Canada and Canadians, and those who may become inadmissible under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) are identified, investigated, arrested or detained where necessary, monitored and/or removed.

Alignment with Government Priorities

The Immigrations Investigations Sub-Program of the CBSA contributes to the Government of Canada priorities to secure the border strategically by providing enforcement actions, as needed, to ensure the integrity of the immigration and refugee system.

Alignment with Federal Roles and Responsibilities

Canada's immigration and refugee enforcement system falls within the purview of the federal government. As part of the immigration enforcement area, the Immigration Investigations Sub-Program is aligned with the federal roles and responsibilities.

Achievement of Expected Outcomes

Immigration Investigations Sub-Program Performance Measurement

The Immigration Enforcement Program logic model does not capture key activities and outputs of the Immigration Investigations Sub-Program, limiting the Agency's ability to assess its performance.

RECOMMENDATION 1

The Vice–President, Programs Branch should develop an appropriate logic model with immigration-investigations specific performance measurement indicators to reflect the activities and outputs of the Sub-Program.

Triage, assignment and tracking of immigration investigation cases

The CBSA is not collecting and tracking data on cases from all referral sources through to their final outcome; without this information, the evaluation cannot determine if all priority referrals are being actioned, and what the results of those referrals are, in order to better refine the investigative process.

RECOMMENDATION 2

The Vice–President, Operations Branch should finalize regional models to deliver a nationally consistent "3I" triage function, with standard operating procedures for the documentation of referrals, and the prioritization and tracking of enforcement cases.

Identification and location of inadmissible persons 

There is a high concordance between CBSA recommendations and Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) decisions, reflecting in part, the high quality of work in preparing the cases. Seventy-eight percent of IRB admissibility hearing cases in FY 2013–2014 resulted in a removal order.

Prioritization of immigration investigations

There are multiple and competing priorities for IEOs. [*]

Timeliness of immigration investigations

The CBSA is achieving its admissibility, removal and timeliness targets; however, these indicators may inadvertently be directing IEO efforts towards lower-priority cases that can be concluded within the 12-month target.

Strong working relationships with law enforcement and other organizations are critical to the effectiveness and efficiency of the Sub-Program. The CBSA needs to continue to work with key partners to facilitate information-sharing and collaboration.

Support to other Immigration Enforcement Program Outcomes

IEOs call upon internal partners at NHQ and within EIOD on an as-needed basis. There are opportunities to strengthen collaboration between IED and NHQ branches to improve the effectiveness of the overall program. The "3I" integration is a work in progress; further clarification is needed on the purpose, structure, standard operating procedures (SOPs) and degree of collaboration expected, and how to resolve the different mandates of CID and IED on cases of mutual interest.

Demonstration of Efficiency and Economy

Without appropriate performance indicators and efficiency measures to demonstrate workload versus resource usage, management is challenged to make informed decisions about how to resource investigative units at a regional level to optimize performance.

RECOMMENDATION 3

The Vice–President, Programs Branch, in consultation with the Operations Branch, should develop indicators to measure the efficiency of the Immigration Investigations Sub-Program.

Training for Immigration Investigations

The level of immigration-related training varies by district and region. The most common course taken by IEOs was on IRPA.

RECOMMENDATION 4

The Vice–President, Human Resources Branch should identify and deliver appropriate training to enhance immigration knowledge and investigative techniques.

Introduction and Context

A primary role of the Government of Canada is to maintain the safety and security of Canada and its citizens through crime prevention, law enforcement, securing Canadian borders, and emergency preparedness. The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) within the portfolio of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency preparedness (Public Safety Canada) provides integrated border services that support national security priorities, while facilitating the flow of people and goods across its borders. The CBSA was created in 2003 to integrate certain functions and responsibilities of the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Today, the CBSA administers over 90 acts, regulations and international agreements on behalf of federal organizations, the provinces and the territories, including the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). Under IRPA, the CBSA and CIC - now Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) - are jointly responsible for administering Canada's immigration and refugee program. IRCC develops Canada's admissibility policies, which sets the conditions for entering and remaining in Canada, while the Immigration Enforcement Program of the CBSA ensures compliance with IRPA.Footnote 2

Program Profile

Travellers to Canada may be pre-screened prior to arrival (e.g. visa applications) and/or at the port of entry (POE) (e.g. immigration screening in air, land, rail or marine modes). Foreign nationals and permanent residents in Canada who either arrived here through irregular migration (e.g. used false documentation) or were initially found admissible (e.g. as an accepted convention refugee, visitor, student or worker) but subsequently became non-compliant with IRPA (e.g. did not follow conditions of student permit; were convicted of a crime in-Canada) are referred to the CBSA Inland Enforcement Division (IED) to be investigated. If the person is believed to be inadmissible to Canada, they may have an inadmissibility report Footnote 3 written against them by a CBSA Inland Enforcement Officer (IEO). Footnote 4 This report is reviewed by either a Minister's Delegate Footnote 5 or by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) Footnote 6 where a CBSA Hearings Officer represents the Minister of Public Safety to argue for the issuance of a removal order. Following this review, a removal order may be issued against the person in question. Removal orders issued against refugee claimants Footnote 7 are conditional and do not come into force until the refugee claim is abandoned, withdrawn or denied by the IRB. Footnote 8 [*]

IED includes four sub-programs: Immigration Investigations, Immigration Hearings, Detentions and Removals. IED along with the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) and Intelligence Division (ID) make up the Enforcement and Intelligence Operations Directorate (EIOD), which is overseen by the CBSA Programs and Operations Branches. The focus of this evaluation is the Immigration Investigations Sub-Program.

Program Outcomes

The main objective of the Immigration Investigations Sub-Program is to ensure foreign nationals, permanent residents, protected persons and convention refugees comply with IRPA. Footnote 9 The expected outcomes of the Immigration Enforcement Program are (as per the CBSA Immigration Enforcement Program Logic Model):

Evaluation Purpose and Scope

The purpose of the evaluation is to determine the degree to which the Immigration Investigations Sub-program supports the delivery of the Government of Canada and CBSA immigration-enforcement-related priorities and the achievement of Immigration Enforcement Program outcomes in a cost-efficient way. The scope of this evaluation was approved by the Executive Evaluation Committee in November 2014.Footnote 11

Evaluation Methodology

Research for this evaluation occurred between December 2014 and April 2015 (see Appendix B – Methodologies). The evaluation analyzed key CBSA program, human resource and financial data extracted by the program areas, CBSA documentation, e.g. Departmental Performance Report (DPR), and external sources, as needed, e.g. from IRB, CIC. In addition, the evaluation team developed, delivered and analyzed the online Inland Enforcement Survey of regional staff. Evaluators conducted field research in four regionsFootnote 12 that included interviews, focus groups, assisted case file reviews, and a tour of operations.

Limitations and Mitigation Strategy

Each finding presented in this report was triangulated using multiple lines of evidence. The following are the main methodological limitations encountered:

Findings and Recommendations

Continued Need

Canada continues to be one of the top three countries in the world for travellers seeking to work, study and live.Footnote 14 While the number of overall applications for permanent resident status decreased since 2009Footnote 15, the number accepted remained fairly stable, averaging 266,988 over the six years of available data (2009–2014).Footnote 16 Meanwhile, the number of temporary resident applications received increased steadily from 1.6 million in 2009 to 2.1 million in 2014.Footnote 17 In FY 2014–2015, one-third of all passengers queried at a POE were not Canadian Citizens.Footnote 18 The 2013–2015 CBSA National Border Risk Assessment cited inadmissible foreign nationals as a top risk for Canada.Footnote 19 In FY 2014–2015, 1,805 foreign nationalsFootnote 20 were removed from Canada for serious criminality. Since its inception, 62 inadmissible persons were found via the "Wanted by the CBSA" program; a further 21 remain on the list.Footnote 21 Given these data, there is a continued need for a program to seek out inadmissible persons located within Canada's borders.

There is a continued need for the Immigration Investigations Sub-Program, as it helps ensure foreign nationals who may pose a threat to Canada and Canadians and those who may become inadmissible under IRPA are detected, investigated, arrested or detained where necessary, monitored and/or removed.

Alignment with Government Priorities

In the 2013 Speech from the Throne, the Government of Canada stated that it "has no higher obligation than the protection of national sovereignty and the security of citizens".Footnote 22  The Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, conducted a study in 2013, to understand what policy and programs are in place to ensure the security of Canada's immigration system, and reiterated that protecting the security and integrity of the immigration system was a key priority for the Government of Canada.Footnote 23  The Government of Canada also introduced several key pieces of legislation over the past three years to enhance Canada's immigration and refugee system.Footnote 24

The Immigrations Investigations Sub-Program of the CBSA contributes to the Whole of Government Framework Outcome Area: A safe and secure Canada,Footnote 25 to the Immigration Enforcement Program Ultimate Outcome of "protecting the integrity of Canada's immigration system" (from the Immigration Enforcement Program Logic Model), and to the CBSA Organizational priority: Secure the Border Strategically, by performing "[a]ctivities relating to criminal investigations and immigration enforcement… including continuing to support the reform of the refugee determination system, enhancing the Agency's capacity to investigate and locate foreign nationals and permanent residents in contravention of [IRPA]".Footnote 26 The Immigration Investigations Sub-Program is part of perimeter security and the immigration enforcement continuum by working to ensure that individuals who are inadmissible to Canada are detected and removed.

The Immigrations Investigations Sub-Program of the CBSA contributes to the Government of Canada priorities to secure the border strategically, by providing enforcement actions, as needed, to ensure the integrity of the immigration and refugee system.

Alignment with Federal Roles and Responsibilities

The Government of Canada is responsible for the administration of the federal immigration system, including determining the admissibility of foreign nationals and the issuance of permanent resident status, temporary resident status documents (e.g. student and work permits), temporary resident permits and the provision of refugee status. Ensuring the integrity of this system falls in part to the CBSA, which is responsible for admissibility screening pre-borderFootnote 27, at the POE and inland. The Immigration Investigations Sub-Program supports this mandate by identifying foreign nationals and permanent residents already in Canada, who are or may be inadmissible to Canada under IRPA.Footnote 28

Canada's immigration and refugee enforcement system falls within the purview of the federal government. As part of the CBSA, which focusses on immigration enforcement, the Immigration Investigations Sub-Program is aligned with the federal roles and responsibilities.

Achievement of Expected Outcomes

Immigration Investigations Sub-Program Performance Measurement

The Immigration Enforcement Program Logic Model identifies the inputs, activities, outputs and outcomes for immigration investigations, detentions, immigration hearings, removals and ministerial relief. The key activities identified for the Immigration Investigations Sub-Program are, to:

This evaluation found the logic model and associated performance measures were not fully developed to assess the performance of the Immigration Investigations Sub-Program. One issue is that there are no performance indicators to assess and track the way IEOs prioritize cases. A second issue is that several of the key activities overlap. Prioritizing and conducting investigations always includes locating the inadmissible person, and could include conducting an arrest, issuing a warrant, etc. In addition, the sole performance indicators used by the Agency to track the Immigrations Investigations function are: "percentage of investigations initiated that result in a person being identified as inadmissible to Canada (target 55%)" and "percentage of immigration investigations finalized within one year of being initiated (target 95%)".Footnote 30 Neither of these indicators provide a reflection of the complexity of the cases (which will affect timeliness), nor of the relative priority of the cases investigated.

Finally, as with other law enforcement agencies, there are a number of unknown factors when attempting to assess the performance of investigative work. The total number or the proportion of incoming migrants to Canada who are or who will become inadmissible after entry (i.e., within the total migrant population) is unknown. As such, the Sub-Program would not be able to prove that it detects all inadmissible individuals. To determine the effectiveness of its investigative program, the Agency needs to use proxy measures (e.g. proportion of inadmissible persons identified over time) to infer the degree of the problem (e.g. irregular migration) and the impact of measures taken to address it (e.g. pre-border, border and inland programs to screen travellers; tools, training and techniques used). For example, finding out the impact of different tools and techniques used on the rate of detection; which referralsFootnote 31 are more likely to result in finding an inadmissible person.

The Immigration Enforcement Program logic model does not capture some key activities and outputs of the Immigration Investigations Sub-Program, limiting the Agency's ability to assess its performance.

It is recommended that:

RECOMMENDATION 1

The Vice-President, Programs Branch should develop appropriate logic model with immigration-investigations specific performance measurement indicators to reflect the activities and outputs of the Sub-Program

Triage, assignment and tracking of immigration investigation cases

When a referral is provided to the CBSA regarding a foreign national or permanent resident in-Canada, it could be investigated by one of the three EIOD areas, depending on the nature of the alleged IRPA violation.

There is a need for a nationally-consistent, centralized system to collect and prioritize incoming tips and referrals to the CBSA and clear SOPs to triage them (i.e., to decide whether they are best addressed by Intelligence, CID or IED) and to assign them to the appropriate unit or officer. In some regions, tips and referrals are reviewed directly by an IED manager or supervisor and then assigned to an IEO.Footnote 32 In other regions, a formal triage unit comprised of staff from CID, Intelligence and IED (see side bar, Best Practice #1), is responsible for the intake, initial work up and triage of tips and referrals.  At the regular Regional Directors-level E&I Integration Committee, the first key action item discussed in April 2015 was to "continue implementing integrated support units…across the country with consistency (i.e., common structure, classification of employees, look and feel) and ensure that all leads are received via the triage function".Footnote 33  The implementation of this directive is ongoing.

Officers in investigations, hearings, detentions and removals enter information on a case into CBSA systems as it progresses. However, according to Programs Branch staff at NHQ, and interviews with IED in the regions, the primary system has limitations both in the type of fields available and in how it is used nationally.Footnote 34 Field research and internal CBSA data showed that the way information is entered into the system varies by region. For example, road trips are not tracked consistently across the county – they may be entered once to indicate that a road trip occurred at least once during an investigation, or they may be entered for each trip taken. Moreover, the system cannot capture details on what the road trip required (e.g. fleet, number of officers, overtime), which would be beneficial information for resource management and analysis. Programs Branch indicated that the original design of this system did not include any efficiency measures – it was created solely to track case progression as per IRPA.

CBSA systems do not generate data on indicators that would relate more directly to investigations: the number of incoming tips and referrals (by initial IRPA reason), whether a tip was actioned, the number of open (active) cases, and case complexity (i.e., as part of the final conclusion). Programs Branch indicated that the current way that information is captured means that the lifecycle of a case cannot be followed from referral through to conclusion except by reviewing the paper file itself, e.g. to conduct analysis to determine what types of referrals resulted in the removal of a high-priority individual. As the number of active cases is not readily captured, this evaluation used the proxy measure of "cases concluded by disposition" to assess program performance. Concluded cases are categorized by Criminality Type, which aligns broadly with the five priorities set out in the Enforcement Manual ENF 7 Investigations.Footnote 35

Best Practice #1:
Pacific Region Integrated Support Unit
(Details in Appendix D)

The Integrated Support Unit (ISU) provides a triage function for the 3Is of EIOD. It presents a scalable model for the intake, assignment, tracking and monitoring of internal and external immigration case referrals:

1) Intake clerks monitor the call line for tips, and respond to officer requests for assistance (such as queries on internal and/or external databases); and

2) Intelligence analysts conduct preliminary desk analysis prior to assigning the case to Investigations, Intelligence and/or Criminal Investigations. 

All data is compiled onto a local database, which can easily produce reports for management.

The CBSA is not collecting and tracking data on cases from all referral sources through to their final outcome; without this information the evaluation cannot determine if all priority referrals are being actioned, and what the results of those referrals are, in order to better refine the investigative process.

It is recommended that:

RECOMMENDATION 2

The Vice-President, Operations Branch should finalize regional models to deliver a nationally-consistent "3I" triage function, with standard operating procedures for the documentation of referrals, and the prioritization and tracking of immigration investigation cases.

Identification and location of inadmissible persons

The first two activities of the Immigration Investigations Sub-Program are to prioritize and conduct investigations, and to detect inadmissibility and ineligibility. Every CBSA region has staff assigned to the immigration investigations function, covering all provinces and territories. As of April 1, 2015, a total of 414 IEOs were involved in the immigration investigations function in the regions. According to the IE Survey and focus groups, IEOs conduct "desk investigations," which included things such as searching databases, internet searches, phone calls with contacts such as embassies, etc. and "road investigations" such as surveillance, interviews and field visits (e.g. to a subject's home, work). Case file reviews revealed investigations vary greatly in degree of complexity, resource requirements, and time to complete: from overstays to war criminals, from marriages of convenience to long-term permanent residents who commit a serious crime in Canada.

Of those investigations initiated between FY 2011–2012 and FY 2014–2015, between 52% and 58% resulted in an inadmissibility report (the CBSA target is 55%).Footnote 36 In FY 2013–2014, 85% of cases referred to the IRB requesting continued detention were granted. Footnote 37 In FY 2013–2014, the IRB held 1,900 admissibility hearings, 91% of which were finalized within six months, and 78% of them resulted in a removal order.Footnote 38 The high concordance rate in front of the IRB in part demonstrates of the strength of the evidence of the investigation prepared by the IEOs and professionalism of the cases presented by the hearings officers.Footnote 39 However, the IRB data only present all persons found inadmissible; the evaluation cannot determine the specific results of high-risk cases.

There is a high concordance between CBSA recommendations and IRB decisions, reflecting in part, the high quality of work in preparing the cases. Seventy-eight percent of IRB admissibility hearing cases in FY 2013–2014 resulted in a removal order.

The next set of activities identified for this sub-program includes arrests, issuing removal orders and warrants. These indicators should be expanded as investigations may lead to one or more of the above; however, many investigations do not involve any of these activities. As per the Immigration Investigation Process Model  [*], an investigation may conclude as "no further outcomes "(for instance, the person was a Canadian Citizen or no IRPA violation occurred) or as "officer discretion" not to proceed with further action at this time (e.g. person in the process of getting visa extension, etc.). Moreover, issuing a warrant or conducting an arrest does not automatically indicate the level of seriousness of the investigation (e.g. a warrant is issued for someone who does not show up for their removal, a person can be arrested because they are suspected of being a flight risk). Only eight percent of the warrant inventory is for high-risk persons.Footnote40 However, warrant inventory reduction is part of the "Enforcement and Intelligence 100% Performance Action Plan (March 22, 2013)"; some regions have teams solely dedicated to investigating and executing warrants.Footnote 41 Footnote 42 Similar to other law-enforcement agencies, IEOs emphasized that the level of effort an officer puts into an investigation does not necessarily correlate with the number of arrests or warrants executed. Case file reviews supported this, demonstrating that some complex cases could take months to years to conclude, and ultimately the person would be removed without an arrest or warrant. In contrast, a simple overstay of a student visa may require an arrest to ensure the individual can be removed (e.g. potential flight risk), but might only take one day of work.

Prioritization of immigration investigations

To determine the degree to which the program focusses on high-priority cases, this evaluation sought to find: 1) a clear identification of IED investigative priorities; 2) awareness of these priorities by IEOs and management; 3) organizational structures, systems and SOPs to support carrying out high-priority investigations; and 4) tracking of and reporting on investigations to determine resource usage, timeliness and outcomes.

This evaluation found a number of documents outlining investigative priories for IED (see Appendix C – Priorities and Performance Targets). The primary reference document for IEOs is the Enforcement Manual ENF 7 Investigations, which identifies potential national security, war crime, organized crime, and serious health or criminality threats as the top investigative priorities. The Integrated Intelligence/Enforcement Priorities 2011/12-2013/14 for EIOD are immigration fraud, smuggling and contraband, irregular migration and inadmissibility and terrorism. The specific priorities for IED are addressing irregular migration and inadmissibility on grounds of security (e.g. terrorism), human or international rights violations (e.g. war crimes) and serious criminality including organized crime. Based on the IE Survey, interviews and focus groups, the IEOs, their supervisors and managers are aware there are IED investigative priorities, and 83% readily identified those outlined in the Enforcement Manual.Footnote 43

However, of the 21,711 cases concludedFootnote 44  in FY 2014–2015, 57% were for non-criminal IRPA violations, e.g. overstay of work visa.Footnote 45  Unfortunately, without intake data, we do not know if this is a reflection of the types of referrals for investigation or whether the actioned cases are consistent with the priorities. Focus groups, cases file reviews and interviews with management suggest that it is a combination of all of the above. For instance, [*] That said, over 50% of NOR's concluded cases were for high-priority cases in FY 2014–2015, well above the national average of 34%.

 [*]

According to the Enforcement Manual ENF 7 Investigations, IEOs are instructed to re-prioritize their caseload regularly to ensure the highest priority files are actively worked. IEOs indicatedFootnote 46 that one resource-pull on investigating high-priority cases is that officers are also expected to work on other Agency-level priorities such as the "Enforcement and Intelligence 100% Performance Action Plan (March 22, 2013)" (which focuses on warrant inventory reduction activities, and referrals of cessation and vacation cases to the IRB),Footnote 47 and removals targets (e.g. failed refugee claimants and PRRA-Bar cases) Footnote 48 among others (see Appendix C for details). Field research also found that IEOs also might be assigned, or self-assign, a lower priority case to support other Agency objectives. For instance, most officers will respond to calls from law enforcement partners as soon as possible, regardless of the priority, as it fosters the relationship between the CBSA and its partners.Footnote 49 Focus groups with IEOs, interviews with management, and other meeting documentation, indicate there is frustration in the field about a lack of guidance from NHQ on how to prioritize within the priorities, given finite resources.Footnote 50

[*]

This evaluation also found that the local organizational structure and IEO roles influenced the amount of time an officer would spend on investigative work. [*]

Timeliness of immigration investigations

Processing times for cases is a key performance measure used by senior management to monitor Immigration Investigations. IED has a performance target to conclude 95% of all cases within 12 months: in FY 2014–2015, they reached 90%.Footnote 51

Nationally, the time it takes to conclude a case is rising year over year; in FY 2014–2015 it took an average of 133 days to conclude a case (12 days longer than the preceding FY and 38 days longer than in FY 2011–2012).Footnote 52 [*]

 [*]

Case file reviews demonstrated that simpler cases such as overstay of a student visa could be wrapped up within days, while more complex cases such as organized crime, or cases where a danger opinionFootnote 53 or international documentation is needed took longer. Senior management indicated that the Investigation Program (Programs Branch) "will conduct an analysis of cases that are exceeding the one-year time frame to determine ways to reduce the number of these cases that are exceeding the target."Footnote 54 As reflected in Recommendation 1 of this report, there is a need to develop a more sensitive measure of timeliness that reflects the differing degree of complexity, which can be part of the logic model and performance indicator refinement.

Each CBSA region has a version of a court-tracking process to monitor foreign nationals and permanent residents in the court system. This allows the CBSA to ensure that convicted foreign nationals and permanent residents are investigated right away. For those who are detained,Footnote 55 this process ensures that they are not released into public but are transferred into CBSA custody for appropriate enforcement action/or removal process. Court tracking supports two objectives of the Immigrations Enforcement Program – the identification and investigation of high-priority inadmissible persons, and their timely removal. This evaluation confirmed that the court tracking system model employed by the Quebec Region is a best practice as it appears to improve the timeliness and consistency of case processing. The Quebec Region court tracking unit is well-staffed, consistently applies SOPs to ensure 100% of court cases are monitored and actioned in a timely manner (see sidebar, Best Practice #2)

Best Practice #2:
Quebec Court Tracking Unit
(Details in Appendix D)

Dedicated court-tracking unit with four clerks assigned to monitoring all foreign nationals and permanent residents in the provincial court system. They track the information in CBSA systems. When a person is in the court process and/or to be released, they prepare the file for the IEO. The clerks perform up to 8,500 verifications a year.

The CBSA is achieving its admissibility, removal and timeliness targets; however, these indicators may inadvertently be directing IEO efforts towards lower-priority cases that can be concluded within the 12-month target.

The work of an IEO depends heavily on external and internal partnerships. Local, provincial, national and international law enforcement support CBSA investigations through information-sharing, providing tactical support or additional resources such as fleet, and acting as back-up to ensure CBSA officer safety during dangerous arrests.Footnote 56  Several regions have embedded IEOs in police servicesFootnote 57 (or vice-versa) and on occasion participate in joint force operations.

IEOs also rely on government agencies, such as Service Alberta,Footnote 58  to gain valuable information to locate and apprehend a person of interest quickly. Some provinces do not have a similar agreement with the CBSA, and officers in these regions indicated that developing additional working collaborative agreements is essential to their job. Lack of information from other agencies was cited as one of the top reasons for a case going "cold".Footnote 59 If another agency or organization is not forthcoming with information, then it may take longer to locate a person of interest or collect the evidence required for a case. In 2013, the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration also expressed strong support for furthering information-sharing agreements with law enforcement partners, including entry-exit information with the United States.Footnote 60 A recommendation repeated in the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence report in June 2015, which also stated "it is necessary that relevant departments and agencies involved in the process of identifying and denying entry to inadmissible persons to Canada have access to timely, accurate and relevant information through clear information sharing arrangements and improved coordination".Footnote 61

Finally, IRCC is a key partner in the administration of the inadmissibility provisions of IRPA in Canada. IRCC has access to information obtained through the immigration application process, when foreign nationals or permanent residents submit application forms for immigration or citizenship purposes, that they may share with the CBSA for investigations as appropriate.

Strong working relationships with law enforcement and other organizations are critical to the effectiveness and efficiency of the Sub-Program. The CBSA needs to continue to work with key partners to facilitate information-sharing and collaboration.

The CBSA structure at NHQ is also aligned to support IED in the regions. The EIPD provides leadership, strategic direction, policy guidance and program management, and is responsible for monitoring the performance of EIPD programs, which now includes a unit specifically to support Hearings and Immigration Investigations.Footnote 62 The EIOD oversees a coordinated and appropriate application of enforcement policy and resources nationally.  Within EIOD, the Inland Enforcement Operations and Case Management Division provide functional support to the regions. The National Security Screening Division (NSSD) also works with IED regarding the investigation of applicants for permanent residence and/or refugee status.

However, in spite of these activities at NHQ, when asked about the assistance NHQ provides to the immigrations investigations function, reaction in the regions was mixed. Regional staff were concerned there is a general lack of immigration expertise at NHQ, which meant that sometimes the responses provided were not helpful.Footnote 63 For instance, according to CBSA interviews, sometimes information provided by NHQ regarding a Danger Assessment or Danger Opinion contains classified information that cannot be shared with the client and/or the IRB, Footnote 64 meaning IEOs must collect additional evidence through other means to build a case. In addition, the NHQ organizational structures (since changed) were unclear and depending on the issue, IEOs were not sure from whom to request assistance.Footnote 65 According to the IE Survey, 64% of IEOs did not think that NHQ was responsive,Footnote 66 and 72% did not think that the quality of response met their needs.Footnote 67 NHQ management indicated that they were making changes to enhance the level of immigration knowledge, and were realigning units and processes to better respond to immigration needs. IEOs also reported that the tight service standard timelines of the NSSD at times do not give officers in the field sufficient time to call the subject in for an interview before preparing a recommendation for or against granting permanent resident status. Footnote 68

When asked about strengths in NHQ, officers and management indicated that the Case Management Directorate is often knowledgeable, helpful, and responsive (especially for complex, national or high-profile cases).Footnote 69 In addition, having subject matter experts at NHQ is especially important for regions or districts with lower volumes of immigration activities as officers in these areas may have less experience, and need more specific guidance.

The CBSA is working toward greater integration of the "3Is" of Intelligence, CID and IED "to leverage commonalities and improve decision-making to achieve greater efficiency, effectiveness and results."Footnote 70  However, field research and IE Survey comments suggested there is a lack of understanding about the degree to which the 3Is are expected to work collaboratively and what integration looks like in practice: co-location of all units, 3I triage units or working together on all cases.Footnote 71 In April 2015, the regional director-led Enforcement and Intelligence Working Group held a discussion of the difference regional governance structures and gaps, with an aim to rationalize the units nationally.Footnote 72 For the most part, Immigration Investigations works independently from the other divisions, though the degree of interaction varies by region, with smaller regions reporting more frequent and involved collaborations. Footnote 73 Officers reported that co-location facilitates communication between the 3Is.Footnote 74 Infrequently, there is conflict over a case, but as CID and IED have different mandates, usually these cases can be resolved by a conversation among managers, or via a national EIOD conference call, as needed. IEOs were concerned that with further integration, there would be an increased burden of proof requirement for immigration investigations to match that of Criminal Investigations,Footnote 75 as criminal cases have higher evidentiary requirements in the criminal court system, and/or that cases would be delayed by running both criminal and immigration investigations simultaneously.Footnote 76

IEOs call upon internal partners at NHQ and within EIOD on an as-needed basis. There are opportunities to strengthen collaboration between IED and NHQ branches to improve the effectiveness of the overall program. The "3I" integration is a work in progress; further clarification is needed on the purpose, structure, SOPs and degree of collaboration expected, and how to resolve the different mandates of CID and IED on cases of mutual interest.

Support to other Immigration Enforcement Program Outcomes

The Immigration Investigations Sub-Program is the starting point for the IED continuum, and supports the achievement of other IED outcomes related to the detentions, removals and/or hearings sub-programs.Footnote 77

The majority of individuals subject to IRPA enforcement are not detained during an investigation.Footnote 78 Where there is evidence of an IRPA inadmissibility, an IEO will prepare an inadmissibility report and refer it to a Minister's Delegate for a review. If the Minister's Delegate has the authority to do so, he/she will decide on the report and if found inadmissible, issue the appropriate removal order. For cases that do not fall within Minister's DelegateFootnote 79 authority, they will be referred to the Immigration Division of the IRB for a decision. Hearings officers represent the Minister at the admissibility hearings. However, some cases will require further investigative support during the hearings, detentions and/or removals processes; for instance, individuals who were granted convention refugees status but were subsequently found to be inadmissible (mostly for criminality), require additional steps before they can be removed from the country. There are three processes to determine whether the risk to Canada and Canadians outweighs the potential risk to the individual being removed: Pre-Removal Risk Assessment, Danger Assessment and Danger Opinion. IEOs are involved in preparing these cases for review, liaising with the client, and collecting additional information as required.

According to the IE Survey and focus groups, in general IEOs have good working relationships with their hearings, detentions and removals colleagues.Footnote 80 IEOs work closest with hearings officers and removals officers. IE Survey respondents indicated that when the IEOs worked collaboratively with hearings officers, there was a higher incidence of complete case filesFootnote 81, allowing the Hearings Officer to present a stronger case at the IRB that proceeded with fewer delays. On the other hand, some hearings officers indicated that some officers do not know how to properly build a case file, what evidence to include,Footnote 82 and that there is no standard file format for files (two of the best practices used are summarized in sidebar Best Practice #3).Footnote 83 Case file reviews confirmed that the organization of case files varies by location. Areas for improvement could be addressed through Recommendation 2 of this report.

Best Practice # 3:
Facilitating IEO-Hearing Case Transition
(Details in Appendix D)

(i) Specialized hearings officers in the GTA worked closely on war crime, security and crimes against humanity cases. This ensures these complex files have sufficient evidence, and are clearly organized, for presentation at the IRB.

(ii) Case checklists implemented in the Quebec Region make sure every file includes all elements before going to Hearings. There are also clear examples of how to present information.

Demonstration of Efficiency and Economy

The purpose of this section is to determine the efficiency and economy of the Immigration Investigations Sub-Program, through the analysis of the key inputs of budget, staffing, training and tools used by the program in the achievement of program outcomes. 

In FY 2013–2014, the Government of Canada allocated 3.5% of its budget to the CBSA ($1.76 billion).Footnote 84 Over the past three fiscal years, the CBSA dedicated 9-10% of its annual budget to the Immigration Enforcement Program ($144 million in FY 2013–2014).Footnote 85 According to Comptrollership data as of May 8, 2015, Footnote 86 Immigration Investigations expenditures by area included $24.0 million for the regions (54% in FY 2014–2015),Footnote 87 NHQ Information, Science and Technology Branch (ISTB) (18%), NHQ Operations Branch (15%), and NHQ Programs Branch (13%) (Exhibit 5).Footnote 88

Exhibit 5: Actual Immigration Investigations Expenditures by area, FY 2014-2015

Actual Immigration Investigations Expenditures by area, FY 2014-2015

While Immigration Investigations salary expenditures in the regions were slightly higher than budgeted ($21.8 million actual versus $21.5 million budget), there was an overall drop in actual expenditures of $2.6 million compared to the previous fiscal year.Footnote 89 Comptrollership Branch data and field research showed that regions are using B-base funding to fill staffing gaps (i.e., hire short-term support staff to help IEOs, reduces overall IEO overtime costs); Regional and NHQ Management suggested this is due in part to a bottleneck in hiring into existing IEO positions.Footnote 90 In February 2015, senior management identified gaps in the IED capacity as a concern. In particular, Programs Branch cited the inability of the regions to draw directly from the Officer Induction Training Program (OITP) (i.e., for new recruits) to fill inland officer positions, [*].

Overtime costs as a percentage of salaries, ranged from a low of 4% in Pacific to a high of 19% in Prairie Region in FY 2014-2015. Factors such as large geography, IEO transportation and removals duties on off-hours, and the time-zone difference with the IRBFootnote 91 may play a role in the high rates of overtime for Prairie Region.

One limitation in determining the efficiency of the Sub-Program is that budgets for IED are historically-based, and do not use a resource allocation model or other cost-allocation model. Management in some regions expressed frustration that budgets could not be readily adjusted to reflect changing workloads (e.g. increase in temporary foreign workers in Edmonton and Calgary during oil boom).Footnote 92 In addition, "activity types" used by the Agency to track certain types of activities are not consistently employed across the county, something which was raised by the E&I Directors in their bi-weekly conference calls in January 2015 as well.Footnote 93 This evaluation could not come to a conclusion about the efficiency of the Immigration Investigations Sub-Program due to a lack of clear activity codes, consistently applied, compounded by an absence of indicators for the activities and outputs directly attributable to the Immigration Investigations Sub-Program. 

Without appropriate performance indicators and efficiency measures to demonstrate workload versus resource usage, management is challenged to make informed decisions about how to resource investigative units at a regional level to optimize performance.

RECOMMENDATION 3

The Vice-President, Programs Branch, in consultation with Operations Branch, should develop indicators to measure the efficiency of the Immigration Investigations Sub-Program.

Training for Immigration Investigations

Nearly all new-hires into Immigration Investigations are former BSOs working at the POEs. However, BSOs would only have had immigration-related training when they were at the CBSA College. The Officer Induction Training Program (OITP)Footnote 94 for new recruits allocates 56 of the 487 hours of training to basic and secondary immigration material (11.5% of all training). There is an additional 15 days "Beyond OITP" for BSOs that he/she may take after working in the field for 12 months or longer. It is unclear how much of this training would focus on investigations (versus detentions and removals). The IE Survey and field research found that developing expertise in immigration investigations still relies primarily on peer-to-peer mentoring. While in-the-field knowledge-transfer can help new staff gain a real-world perspective, there are limitations to this, including the lack of standard interpretation of IRPA and encouraging variation in the way that case information is collected and presented. Officers indicated a desire for more immigration and investigation-related training.Footnote 95 Field research and survey results show that the length of service in immigration investigations varies considerably, with some officers in the role for less than a year (GTA, SOR, NOR), while others have been involved in investigations for 30 or more years (GTA, SOR).Footnote 96

For officers already in Immigration Enforcement, the Training and Development Directorate (TDD) of the HR Branch organizes and prioritizes the 13 courses related to immigration investigations as "core" (six courses), "specialized" (four course) and "other" (three, which includes IRPA training).Footnote 97 In FY 2014–2015, TDD courses were taken 872 times (Exhibit 6). Nearly half of that training was for IRPA (403 sessions), followed by Introduction to document examination (101 sessions). Surveillance techniques (specialized course), was the top course taken for the preceding two fiscal years. According to the TDD, the "focus for training delivery over the past three years has been directed to the Arming implementation…[to ensure that] Inland Enforcement Officers and other E&I counterparts are fully armed before March 31, 2016."Footnote 98 

 [*]

TDD confirmed "in some cases, although the training is available, operational requirements prevent the release, or limit the release of participants or instructors from the region, to attend training scheduled".Footnote 99 Officers indicated that pressures to complete investigations cases and staff shortages were barriers to attending training.Footnote 100 Training and the prioritization of EIOD training is an ongoing discussion at the senior management level.Footnote 101 TDD indicated that "Learning Design [group] is working with the OPI to design common product(s) for all communities as part of the E&I review", which includes significant changes to the curriculum and/or delivery of most IEOD-related courses in an attempt to reach more officers, including increased e-learning options.Footnote 102 However, this may not be as effective for all students as in-class learning. In addition, this may not help officers who have been on the job longer, but have not yet had the full training they need.Footnote 103

In FY 2014–2015, SOR had the highest total number and ratio of courses taken (212 sessions, 8.8 courses per IEO), followed by GTA (175), Prairie (148) and Pacific (121) [*]. On a per capita basis, SOR and Atlantic (ratio 6.2 courses per officer) had the highest ratio of training. SOR indicated that they had recently hired several new officers into the investigative function. GTA and Quebec had the lowest training per officer (1.0 and 1.1, respectively). These data support observations by officers in these regions that they need more training.Footnote 104

The level of immigration-related training varies by district and region. Over the past two fiscal years, most of the sessions taken by IEOs are IRPA training (46% in FY 2014–2015).

RECOMMENDATION 4

The Vice-President, Human Resources Branch, in consultation with Operations and Programs Branches, should identify and deliver appropriate training to enhance immigration knowledge and investigative techniques.

Appendix A – Management Response

RECOMMENDATION 1

The Vice-President, Programs Branch should develop an appropriate logic model with immigration-investigations specific performance measurement indicators to reflect the activities and outputs of the Sub-Program.

Management Response

Agreed. Enforcement and Intelligence Programs Branch shall develop a logic model specifically for immigration-investigations.

Implementation Date:

April 2016

RECOMMENDATION 2

The Vice-President, Operations Branch should finalize regional models to deliver a nationally-consistent "3I" triage function, with standard operating procedures for the documentation of referrals, and the prioritization and tracking of enforcement cases.

Management Response

Agree. Operations Branch, will finalize a regional model for triaging cases, including the development of standard operating procedures for referrals, and the prioritization and tracking of cases within the regions.

Implementation Date:

April 2017

RECOMMENDATION 3

The Vice-President, Programs Branch, in consultation with Operations Branch, should develop indicators to measure the efficiency of the Immigration Investigations Sub-Program.

Management Response

Agreed. Enforcement and Intelligence Programs Branch shall develop appropriate indicators to measure the efficiency of the immigration investigations sub-program.

Implementation Date:

April 2016

RECOMMENDATION 4

The Vice-President, Human Resources Branch, in consultation with Operations and Programs Branches, should identify and deliver appropriate training to enhance immigration knowledge and investigative techniques.

Management Response

The Human Resources Branch accepts the recommendation. The Branch will work in consultation with Programs and Operations Branches to determine which courses will be deemed core training. A delivery schedule for Inland Enforcement Officer training courses will be established.

Implementation Date:

April 2017

Appendix B – Evaluation Methodology

Calibration

The evaluation team reviewed past and planned evaluation and audit studies to mitigate duplication and ensure an effective use of resources. Where possible, past findings and recommendations were incorporated into the evaluation to assess the degree to which issues remain and if recommendations were implemented.

Review of Documents

The evaluation team reviewed a variety of Agency and external documentation to understand the program and its linkages to other areas in the CBSA and connections to OGDs and other external bodies. While the documents provided a general overview of the Immigration Investigations Sub-Program, there were some limitations. For example, not all chapters of the Enforcement manual are current, the E&I integrated priorities document is out of date, and there may be documents that were not reviewed because the evaluation team was not made aware of them, or a document may only apply to a given region and cannot be extrapolated to the national level.

Review of Operational, Performance and Financial Data

EIPD provided data on key performance indicators, such as referral sources, the number of cases opened and concluded, average time to conclude a case, number of arrests, cases concluded by disposition, etc. The data was provided by the program area and vetted by the Director to ensure accuracy and reliability of the data. Comptrollership Branch provided financial data based on the PSSA 53100 (Immigration Investigations) including salaries, O&M, and overtime for the past two fiscal years. Staffing numbers were provided by Human Resources Branch, Regional E&I, and taken from Departmental Performance Reports and Reports on Plans and Priorities. Human Resource Branch, Training and Learning Division provided data on the number of courses offered and their respective uptake/attendance.

Limitations identified were:

Field Research (site visits)

The evaluation team visited the EIOD in the GTA, Calgary, Edmonton, Montréal and Niagara Falls. Each visit included an orientation to the regional operation, interviews, focus groups and assisted case file reviews.

Qualitative Data Analysis

The evaluation team conducted focus groups and interviews with key program stakeholders in all regions,Footnote 105 and at NHQ. Focus group and interviews guides were developed for each audience. All qualitative data were collected and coded according to the theme and tone (i.e., positive, negative or neutral), and then analyzed to determine strength of correlation (i.e., weak, moderate, large or very large) of the overall themes.

Exhibit b-1: Number of Interviews and Focus Groups Conducted and Participation Rate
Audience # of Sessions # of Participants
Interviews
Directors and DGs (NHQ) 3 5
Mangers, Directors and RDGs (Regions) 18 35
Focus Groups
IEO (Investigations) 5 28
Detentions and Removals Officers 3 14
Hearings Officers 5 17
Management 1 7
TOTAL 35 106

Assisted Case File Reviews

The case file review was a convenience sample from each of the cities visited. The selection criteria were developed by the evaluation team to ensure a range of IRPA case types and outcomes were reviewed. The evaluation team developed a standardized data collection tool, used during each three-hour case file review session to ensure consistency of data collection. In total, 180 cases were reviewed and analyzed. The results were used to provide context to support findings from other lines of evidence. However, the sample was not representative (selection bias and possible over or under-representation of certain case types), and therefore the results could not be extrapolated to the program as a whole or to other cities and regions. Errors may have occurred during data entry, given that not all fields were inputted for all cases, and some information was implied rather than explicitly recorded.

Survey of Regional Inland Enforcement Officers and Management

The evaluation team designed, developed, and analyzed a web-based Regional Inland Enforcement Survey, sent to every immigration investigations, immigration hearings, detentions and removals officer and their supervisors and managers in February 2015. The survey asked IEOs details about their work (e.g. prioritization of cases, information sharing, techniques, tools and systems). Questions for hearings, detentions and removals officers focussed on the quality and impact of the work produced investigations.

Exhibit b-2: Survey Completion Rate
Position [*] [*] Proportion who completed the survey
IEO (Investigations) [*] [*] 53%
IEO supervisors/managers [*] [*] 49%
Hearings officers and managers [*] [*] 54%
Detentions officers [*] [*] 29%
Removals officers and managers [*] [*] 47%
TOTAL [*] [*] 50.9%

All survey questions were set to "optional" to encourage completion of the survey. However, as a result, not all questions were answered by all respondents. Analysis was limited by the low response rate for some questions and the small population of eligible respondents in some regions, e.g. Atlantic.

Appendix C – Priorities and Performance Targets

Exhibit c-1: Documents Outlining Inland Enforcement priorities
Immigration Enforcement Manual (IRPA Section) Integrated Enforcement and Intelligence prioritiesFootnote 106 100% Action Plan Other Agency Initiatives/priorities

National Security Threats

s. 34(1)

Organized Crime / Crimes against Humanity

s. 37(1), s. 35(1)

Serious Criminality / Health Threats

s. 36(1), s. 38(1)

Criminality

s. 36(2)

Non-Criminal/Non-Compliance

s. 40(1), s. 41

Residence Fraud

Consultant Fraud

Marriages of Convenience

Welfare/Benefit Fraud including Abuse of the Health Care System

Employment Fraud

Organized Human Smuggling

International Human Trafficking

Removal of Failed Refugee protection Claimants

Screening

Identification

Removals

The existing CBSA warrant inventory is reduced by 50% by locating and removing absconders and by ensuring removals of clients with criminality.

Refer 1,000 cessation or vacation cases per year to the Immigration and Refugee Board

Removal of Failed Refugee Claimants cases within 12 months

Remove PRRA-Bar cases within 12 months

Temporary Foreign Workers

Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act

Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act

Exhibit c-2: Departmental Performance Report, Performance Targets, FY 2013–2014
Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets
Immigration enforcement actions are focussed on high priority foreign nationals and permanent residents who may pose a safety and/or security risk to Canada Percentage of foreign nationals removed from Canada for reasons of serious inadmissibility as described under sections 34 to 37 of the IRP and 1F of the Refugee Convention 12%
Timely removal of failed refugee claimants who are inadmissible to Canada Percent of failed refugee claimants removed from Canada within 12 months of a negative decision from the Refugee processing Division or the Refugee Appeals Division 80%

Appendix D – Best Practices

Best practice I: Pacific Region – Integrated Support Unit

Organization

The Pacific Region created the Integrated Support Unit (ISU) within the Pacific Region Enforcement and Intelligence Division (EID) in early 2012 as a cost-sensitive consolidation point and repository for both internal and external immigration case referrals (tips). Tips are received by phone, email or fax. The consolidation system involves two screening levels prior to case assignment:

  1. The initial intake (conducted by CR-05s) – complete requests for assistance (such as queries in internal and/or external databases).
  2. Desk analysis (conducted by Intelligence Analysts, FB-04s) – this occurs prior to assigning the case to the appropriate area – either concludes the file if there are no grounds to pursue or refers the case Investigations, Intelligence or Criminal Investigations (3I's).

The desk analysis portion includes an assessment process managed by Intelligence analysts with the priorities of all three sections in mind. Referrals are then passed on to one of the 3I's. High profile tips and referrals triaged by the ISU, particularly those identified as having potential impact on more than one section, are discussed at a bi-weekly Enforcement Senior Management Team (SMT) meeting. This meeting is attended by the director, the four sectional assistant directors, the manager/chief of the Intelligence Probe and Project team, the supervisor of the triage unit (ISU) and the manager of the Divisional Services Unit. It provides a forum to review and discuss those referrals with a focus on de-confliction and coordination between the 3Is.

As well, the ISU process includes an assigned Criminal Investigator who reviews all leads created by the ISU Analysts and who acts as a liaison with ISU staff should they be uncertain regarding a referral. Even though Inland Enforcement does not have immigration investigations officer within the ISU, the current supervisor and an enforcement assistant are both from Immigration Investigations.

This model sets up a scalable model for intake, tracking and monitoring referrals (tips) and a step toward national consistency in tracking tips. It allows for better tracking of incoming referrals and assignment to different 3I areas.

Best practice II: Quebec Region – Court Tracking Unit

CBSA systems are used to track all known in-Canada criminal charges against a IRCC/CBSA client where those charges may potentially result in an A44 report.Footnote 107 While all regions have a court tracking in one form or another, there is wide variation in structure, staffing, and standardization.

In Quebec, there is rigor and consistency applied to the SOPs regarding court tracking. Experienced staff track all the foreign nationals and permanent residents in the provincial court systems and report up to an Inland Investigations Supervisor. CBSA staff perform up to 8,500 verifications a year. One individual may have more than one court tracking instance open.

The CBSA clerks' work is supported by a repository of templates for all of their information requests as well as templates for presentation to the Immigration and Refugee Board. Thus, in addition to tracking 100% of the provincial courts, the clerks also present consistent information requests and reports. Furthermore, the clerks conscientiously and immediately flag any cases that may be of immediate interest to Immigration Investigations, Intelligence or Criminal Investigations. In this way Enforcement and Intelligence Operations Directorate is aware of potential cases. The number of cases tracked through the court system increased by 72% since 2008–2009 (2,741) to 2013–2014 (4,711 cases). The clerks also dismiss cases where there are no IRPA grounds to pursue.

Benefits

This system reduces inconsistency among CBSA regions in the handling of dual-custody cases. It also ensures the CBSA does not miss foreign nationals and permanent residents who may be in violation of IRPA and therefore potentially removable. As well, these are straightforward cases to monitor, with the possibility of monitoring 300 cases per year. Another benefit of this model is that it allows the officers to work on other more complicated investigative cases. 

Exhibit d-1: Summary of the strengths and areas of improvement of this system:
Criminal Court Tracking
What works well What could be improved Rationale
Consistency: SOP is in place.   Not all regions are as consistent.
CBSA systems used to record cases tracked.   System is also updated with where the documents are located once received. Can prove 100% coverage.
All courts are tracked. Closing the loop – follow case to conclusion/closure. 100% coverage.
Coverage – Court tracking staff know which case was assigned to whom.   Excellent use of resources and back up is built-in – investigators are freed up to do more complicated investigative cases – less administrative work.
Templates for each type of case, checklist to follow, standard letters for request for information, court forms, A44 form letters – G drive repository.   Consistent files are built and handed over to the IRB – this is important since the IRB hears the same types of terminology for the same types of cases, perhaps lending to consistency of decisions rendered.
Relationship with courts – clerks can request court documents such as judge's sentencing remarks.   Close, flexible, active working relationships that are sensitive to the changing environment and continuous improvement.
Access to provincial court systems.   Clerks can track cases from the source – less steps, saves time.

Best practice III: Facilitating IEO-Hearing Case Transition

The hearings officers in Montréal, the Greater Toronto Area and Calgary had devised some best practices in order to address some ongoing issues with immigration investigations case files. There were two practices that were of note and that are easily adopted:

In the Quebec Region (specifically Montréal), the hearings officers have provided the immigrations investigations officers with a checklist to organize the case files. This ensures consistency and that the particular exigencies of the Montréal Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) are met. This also minimizes rework and strengthens the case. In the Calgary office of the Prairie Region, the hearings officers have created an organized structure that follows the case chronologically and each case file starts with a case summary.

Within the GTA and Quebec regions, there are hearings officers who specialize in specific case types. This increases the familiarity with specific case types, and allows the hearings officer to develop an enhanced understanding of what the IRB is seeking in terms of evidence.

These examples represent a scalable model for increasing the efficiency and minimizing the rework involved in case files. It also represents the enforcement continuum, specifically Investigations and Hearings working collaboratively and ostensibly more efficiently.

The risks of not adopting a system as such are:

Appendix E – Inadmissibility Provisions under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA)

Chapter one of the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) Enforcement Manual outlines the inadmissibility provisions under IRPA.Footnote 108 The Act makes distinctions based on categories of inadmissibility related to:

Inadmissibility Provision

Section of IRPA

A permanent resident or a foreign national is inadmissible on security grounds for

  • engaging in an act of espionage that is against Canada or that is contrary to Canada's interests

A34(1)(a)

  • engaging in or instigating the subversion by force of any government

A34(1)(b)

  • engaging in an act of subversion against a democratic government, institution or process as they are understood in Canada

A34(1)(b.1)

  • engaging in terrorism

A34(1)(c)

  • being a danger to the security of Canada

A34(1)(d)

  • engaging in acts of violence that would or might endanger the lives or safety of persons in Canada

A34(1)(e)

  • being a member of an organization that there are reasonable grounds to believe engages, has engaged or will engage in acts referred to in paragraph (a), (b), (b.1) or (c)

A34(1)(f)

A permanent resident or a foreign national is inadmissible on grounds of violating human or international rights for

  • committing an act outside Canada that constitutes an offence referred to in sections 4 to 7 of the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act

A35(1)(a)

  • being a prescribed senior official in the service of a government that, in the opinion of the Minister, engages or has engaged in terrorism, systematic or gross human rights violations, or genocide, a war crime or a crime against humanity within the meaning of subsections 6(3) to (5) of the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act

A35(1)(b)

  • being a person, other than a permanent resident, whose entry into or stay in Canada is restricted pursuant to a decision, resolution or measure of an international organization of states or association of states, of which Canada is a member, that imposes sanctions on a country against which Canada has imposed or has agreed to impose sanctions in concert with that organization or association

A35(1)(c)

A permanent resident or a foreign national is inadmissible on grounds of serious criminality for

  • having been convicted in Canada of an offence under an Act of Parliament punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least ten years, or of an offence under an Act of Parliament for which a term of imprisonment of more than six months has been imposed

A36(1)(a)

  • having been convicted of an offence outside Canada that, if committed in Canada, would constitute an offence under an Act of Parliament punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least 10 years

A36(1)(b)

  • committing an act outside Canada that is an offence in the place where it was committed and that, if committed in Canada, would constitute an offence under an Act of Parliament punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least 10 years

A36(1)(c)

A foreign national is inadmissible on grounds of criminality for

  • having been convicted in Canada of an offence under an Act of Parliament punishable by way of indictment, or of two offences under any Act of Parliament not arising out of a single occurrence

A36(2)(a)

  • having been convicted outside Canada of an offence that, if committed in Canada, would constitute an indictable offence under an Act of Parliament, or of two offences not arising out of a single occurrence that, if committed in Canada, would constitute offences under an Act of Parliament

A36(2)(b)

  • committing an act outside Canada that is an offence in the place where it was committed and that, if committed in Canada, would constitute an indictable offence under an Act of Parliament

A36(2)(c)

  • committing, on entering Canada, an offence under an Act of Parliament prescribed by regulations

A36(2)(d)

A permanent resident or a foreign national is inadmissible on grounds of organized criminality for

  • being a member of an organization that is believed on reasonable grounds to be or to have been engaged in activity that is part of a pattern of criminal activity planned and organized by a number of persons acting in concert in furtherance of the commission of an offence punishable under an Act of Parliament by way of indictment, or in furtherance of the commission of an offence outside Canada that, if committed in Canada, would constitute such an offence, or engaging in activity that is part of such a pattern

A37(1)(a)

  • engaging, in the context of transnational crime, in activities such as people smuggling, trafficking in persons or money laundering

A37(1)(b)

A foreign national is inadmissible on health grounds if their health condition

  • is likely to be a danger to public health
  • is likely to be a danger to public safety
  • might reasonably be expected to cause excessive demand on health or social services

A38(1)(a) A38(1)(b) A38(1)(c)

A foreign national is inadmissible for financial reasons if they are or will be unable or unwilling to support themselves or any other person who is dependent on them, and have not satisfied an officer that adequate arrangements for care and support, other than those that involve social assistance, have been made

A39

A permanent resident or a foreign national is inadmissible for misrepresentation

  • for directly or indirectly misrepresenting or withholding material facts relating to a relevant matter that induces or could induce an error in the administration of the Act

A40(1)(a)

  • for being or having been sponsored by a person who is determined to be inadmissible for misrepresentation

A40(1)(b)

  • on a final determination to vacate a decision to allow the claim for refugee protection by the permanent resident or the foreign national

A40(1)(c)

  • on ceasing to be a citizen under paragraph 10(1)(a) of the Citizenship Act, in the circumstances set out in subsection 10(2) of that Act

A40(1)(d)

Cessation of refugee protection – foreign national and permanent resident

  • A foreign national is inadmissible on a final determination under subsection 108(2) that their refugee protection has ceased.

A40.1 (1)Footnote 109

  • A permanent resident is inadmissible on a final determination that their refugee protection has ceased for any of the reasons described in paragraphs 108(1)(a) to (d).

A40.1 (2)Footnote 110

A person is inadmissible for failing to comply with the Act

  • in the case of a foreign national, through an act or omission which contravenes, directly or indirectly, a provision the Act

A41(a)

  • in the case of a permanent resident, through failing to comply with A27(2) or A28

A41(b)

A foreign national, other than a protected person, is inadmissible on grounds of an inadmissible family member if

  • their accompanying family member or, in prescribed circumstances, their non-accompanying family member is inadmissible

A42(a)

  • they are an accompanying family member of an inadmissible person

A42(b)

The Minister may, on application by a foreign national, declare that the matters referred to in section 34, paragraphs 35(1)(b) and (c) and subsection 37(1) do not constitute inadmissibility in respect of the foreign national if they satisfy the Minister that it is not contrary to the national interest.

A42.1(1)

The Minister may, on the Minister's own initiative, declare that the matters referred to in section 34, paragraphs 35(1)(b) and (c) and subsection 37(1) do not constitute inadmissibility in respect of a foreign national if the Minister is satisfied that it is not contrary to the national interest.

A42.1(2)

In determining whether to make a declaration, the Minister may only take into account national security and public safety considerations, but, in his or her analysis, is not limited to considering the danger that the foreign national presents to the public or the security of Canada.

A42.1(3)

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