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Wednesday, 31 October 2012 - 13:28
MV Sun Sea: 20 refugee claims approved so far
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More than two years after a boatload of hundreds of asylum-seeking Sri Lankan Tamils arrived on the West Coast  of Canada sparking a vow by the Harper government to crack down on what it called immigration "queue jumpers" the vast majority of the migrants remain in Canada waiting for decision on their refugee claims.

An update on the status of the migrants was tabled in the House this week by Public Safety Minister Vic Toews in response to a question put to him in June by NDP MP Rathika Sitsa-baisan.

On August 13th, 2010, 492 Tamil migrants arrived along the British Colombian coast aboard the rusting cargo ship MV Sun Sea.

According to Toews' update, 20 refugee claims have since been approved and 35 have been rejected.

Another 23 individuals were excluded from the refugee determination process because the Immigration and Refugee Board found them in-admissible for reasons of national security or because of their involvement in the smuggling operation.

So far, two of them have been removed from Canada, one to Sri Lanka, the other to India while the remaining 414 migrants continue to wait to learn their fates.

Meanwhile, a criminal investigation resulted in charges of people smuggling against six people and their trials are pending.

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