07 November 2012

Immigration officials duck blame for murder suspect's Canada visa grant

Government departments are trying to discover how a Chinese national wanted for murder in the US was not only able to enter the country, but also to be granted a Canada visa in the process.

Canada visa

Kai-Guo Huang was not uncovered as the main suspect in a brutal murder and beheading until he was stopped for drunk driving in Toronto in August.

Canadian immigration officials are hanging their heads in embarrassment today after it emerged a Chinese national who entered the country as a refugee and was granted a Canada visa in 2006 was not uncovered as the main suspect in a grisly murder until a routine traffic stop.

Kai-Guo Huang entered Canada in 2006 using fake documentation, posing as Yu Chen, a Chinese asylum seeker. The man's fingerprints were taken, he was interviewed and checked for a criminal record before being granted a Canada visa. He was later fingerprinted a second time when he was granted permanent residency.

Huang then started a business in the Scarborough area of Toronto, attended church, paid his rent on time and even took part in the community.

However, when Huang was stopped in Toronto for drunk driving, he was finger printed was once more, and this time his prints were checked against the FBI database in the US.

It was only then that it emerged that not only had he entered Canada using fake travel documents but he was also the prime suspect in the 1998 murder of Hoi (Shorty) Yang in Philadelphia.

Yang was reputedly murdered in the basement of a local Chinatown restaurant; his head and torso were found in separate dumpsters in New Jersey the following day.

By the time Huan and his brother Xing Huang, were charged with the murder three months later, both had presumably left the country and neither were apprehended.

Huang is currently in Canadian custody ahead of an extradition hearing later this week.

However, immigration advocates and lawyers have already expressed outrage over how such a thing could be allowed to happen. Canadian border security officials and immigration officials have claimed the other should have picked up on the error.

"The only reason he would’ve gotten through is if they didn’t run his prints in the United States," said Richard Kurland, a noted Canadian immigration expert.

"It wouldn’t happen today and it shouldn’t have happened then and it’s a vulnerability to the background check system."

Lorne Waldman, another noted immigration lawyer, said it was too easy for Huang to lie about being in the United States and therefore avoid having his fingerprints run through the FBI database.

A spokesperson for Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said changes to the country's immigration policy are already in the pipeline to ensure dangerous people such as Huang aren't allowed to fall through the net.

"Through the Perimeter Agreement, beginning 2013, we will be checking all information and biometrics for applicants to Canada against US databases so Canadian visa officers will know if any applicant has previously visited the US, made an asylum claim, and most importantly, has a criminal record there."

The Canadian Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people make their application to the Canadian Embassy.

Bookmark and Share