Trudeau Has RCMP Delete 5,000 Intelligence Records on Muslim Migrants
The RCMP stopped using the questionnaire after the Star brought it to the attention of the force’s national headquarters last month.
The RCMP announced Monday it will expunge any data on religious and cultural practices collected from Muslim refugee claimants who had crossed the U.S. border at a popular informal crossing in Quebec. The move follows a Star story last month that highlighted the federal police force’s line of questioning.
The data had been obtained using an interview guide that included questions specifically targeting Muslims. The RCMP stopped using the questionnaire after the Star brought it to the attention of the force’s national headquarters.
The information, which includes “operational files as well as any audio recordings on DVD,” will be held in sealed envelopes for the two years the force is required to keep the information due to privacy legislation, the RCMP wrote.
In total, the RCMP said it collected 5,438 files containing a completed questionnaire or references to one. Those records will be “permanently redacted” from electronic databases, and sealed recordings will be retained “for two years after its last use for an administrative purpose” and then destroyed, the RCMP wrote in a statement to the Star.
The RCMP also shared this information with the Canada Border Services Agency. When contacted by the Star Monday, a CBSA spokesperson said the agency is looking into the matter.
While refugee lawyers who had worked with the thousands of men, women and children seeking asylum had anecdotally heard about questions that profiled Muslims, it wasn’t until a client of Toronto lawyer Clifford McCarten was handed his completed questionnaire by mistake that there was proof of its use.
RCMP officers had been using a questionnaire at the informal Roxham Rd. border crossing in Quebec for a year between October 2016 and last month. The guide asked asylum seekers how they feel about women who do not wear the hijab, how many times they pray and what their opinion is about the Islamic State or the Taliban.
No other religions were mentioned in the questionnaire, despite the fact that the majority of claimants are from Haiti or other non-Muslim countries.
Source : thestar