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Canada Moves to End Immigration Rights for Polygamists

Friday, 07 November 2014

Canada's government is considering legislation to curb immigration rights for polygamists.

The government's Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act was introduced in the Canadian Senate Wednesday.

In an online statement, Immigration Minister Chris Alexander said the bill sends "a strong message: early and forced marriages, honor-based violence, & polygamy will not be tolerated in (Canada)."

Alexander said hundreds of immigration cases could be affected.

Canadian law already bans polygamy and requires would-be immigrants to have only one spouse.

The Zero Tolerance act looks to close a loophole and prevent immigrants who practice polygamy in Canada or abroad from accessing immigration benefits.

The proposed amendments would allow the government to deport immigrant polygamists without the need for a criminal conviction.

The bill also criminalizes forced marriages, sets a national minimum age for marriage at 16, and limits the use of the "provocation" defense in so-called "honor" killing cases.

Voice of America

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