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RCMP questionnaire probed asylum seekers on prayer habits, hijab

RCMP questionnaire probed asylum seekers on prayer habits, hijab
From CBC - October 12, 2017

An RCMP interview guide used to screen asylum seekers on their prayer habits and views on women who do not wear the hijab was "inappropriate and inconsistent with government policy," a spokesperson for Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says.

The three-page form, obtained by CBC News, asked people who were trying to cross the Quebec-U.S. border on Roxham Road, east of Hemmingford, Que., for details on their work history, whether they had a criminal record and what motivated their decision to leave the United States.

It also asked for their views on women bosses, terrorist attacks and Islamic State.

Muslims, in particular, appear to be targeted, as no other religion is mentioned in the questionnaire.

Spokesperson Scott Bardsley said the RCMP has suspended the use of that version of the interview guide, which was only deployed at Roxham Road.

"The minute we became aware of the interview guide, we were immediately concerned and contacted the RCMP," he said in an email on Thursday.

"The RCMP is committed to protecting the safety of Canadians and keeping our borders secure. At the same time, people seeking asylum in Canada must be treated with respect, compassion, and afforded due process under the law."

The RCMPdid not immediately return a request by CBC News for comment.

'Utterly irrelevant,' lawyer says

Roxham Road was the site of a major influx in asylum seekers this summer. Thousands used the road to cross and make a refugee claim in Canada.

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