The New Brunswick Refugee Clinic, a non-profit based in Moncton, is helping people making risk-based refugee applications in New Brunswick who can’t afford a private lawyer.
“So we primarily do refugee claims. And then for the clients that we’re doing a refugee claim, for we can help them with work permits, permanent resident applications, we sometimes do agency applications on a case-by-case basis, that type of thing,” said Olivia Huynh, executive director of the New Brunswick Refugee Clinic, in an interview with the NB Media Co-op.
Huynh said that one of the services that the clinic provides is representing refugee claimants in a detention hearing.
“So, for example, if someone is detained by CBSA [Canada Border Services Agency], and they are an asylum seeker in Canada, they can contact our clinic, and we would be able to help them during the during the detention hearing,” she said.
Check out the full interview with reporter Arun Budhathoki:
Huynh pointed out that Canada needs to be more flexible in cases where refugees return to their home country to attend to their loved ones who are sick or facing death.
She also laid out problems that refugees and refugees claimants face, such as language barriers, the lack of affordable housing, getting accessible services, knowing where to go for services or which organizations can help them, and also knowing what their rights are and what different immigration pathways and different options are based on their situation.
“I think something that’s also been an issue recently is having long delays with receiving things like work permits or study permits that will allow them to continue their life in Canada and to be self-sufficient while they’re waiting for their refugee claim to be heard. So I think all of those things are issues that that people are facing right now,” she said.
Canada has committed to welcome at least 40,000 Afghan refugees over the next two years.
Huynh believes Canada is prepared to welcome more refugees, but the country might face hurdles to accommodate them without proper preparations.
Arun Budhathoki is a journalist with the NB Media Co-op. This project has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada, administered by the Canadian Association of Community Television Stations and Users (CACTUS).