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Promoting fairness in Canadian Immigration decisions: Report of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration (2022)

Posted on:
January 23, 2023

Summary

"This report examines outcomes in Canadian immigration decisions and in the Canadian immigration system that may systematically and unjustifiably disadvantage certain populations based on characteristics such as race and country of origin. It follows a 22 March 2022 to 4 May 2022 study on differential outcomes in Canadian immigration decisions by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration (the Committee).

This report is organized largely by what types of outcomes immigration decisions may affect. Chapter One draws from testimony on the differential outcomes for applicants caused by, and based on the application of, law and policy. This includes addressing different processing times and inventories for different streams and populations. Chapter Two explores potential effects of decisions about processing technology, the location and funding of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) visa offices and global network, and settlement funding on applicants or newcomers. Chapter Three examines potential outcomes of conscious and unconscious bias or racism for IRCC employees—outcomes that ultimately also affect refusals, processing times, and infrastructure for applicants."

Among the various recommendations are two specific to technology:

Requiring an Independent Assessment of Chinook, E-Tools and Artificial Intelligence
Recommendation 19
That the Government of Canada require an independent assessment and oversight by IT security experts of Chinook, e-tools and the expansion of the use of artificial intelligence in immigration on a mandatory basis; aim for greater transparency with respect to algorithmic impact assessments, privacy assessments and consultations on fairness concerns for using these technologies; and study the cases of the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, which have both in the last two years suspended the use of algorithmic systems because these systems have discriminatory biases.

Addressing the Recommendations on Artificial Intelligence and E-Tools in Report 8
Recommendation 20
That Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada address the recommendations related to the use of artificial intelligence and E-tools at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada contained in Report 8—Differential Treatment in Recruitment and Acceptance Rates of Foreign Students in Quebec and the Rest of Canada."

Promoting Fairness in Canadian Immigration Decisions (2022)

Summary

This report examines outcomes in Canadian immigration decisions and in the Canadian immigration system that may systematically and unjustifiably disadvantage certain populations based on characteristics such as race and country of origin.
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