**_Abandoning evidence-based policy review to fulfill campaign promises_** OTTAWA – Today, Hon. Michelle Rempel, Critic for Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship issued a statement on the reports that the Liberal government plans to lift visa requirements on Mexican nationals in December 2016: “The Liberals claim to base their decisions on evidence, yet they continue to ignore our calls for a formal visa exemption review on Mexico. During a committee meeting on May 5th, a departmental official stated: ‘A formal visa review, as it is normally done, has not yet been conducted.’ “Since the imposition of visa requirements on Mexico, the asylum rate for Mexican nationals during the last 4 years has remained below 1 percent. In 2008, prior to the imposition of a visa, the asylum rate was above 25 percent. In 2008 alone, there were over 9,000 Mexican nationals scheduled for removal from Canada on the basis of inadmissibility. The cost of removing someone from Canada can range anywhere from $1,500-15,000. “Under Canada’s visa policy framework, the quantitative threshold for the temporary resident visa refusal rate is 4% averaged over the course of the previous three years. The temporary resident visa refusal rate for Mexican nationals was 5.1% in 2015. The evidence is overwhelmingly against removing the visa. “Reports state that Canada will only lift the visa if Mexico ‘offers assurances there won’t be a flood of people from Mexico claiming refugee status.’ Are the Liberals making serious policy decisions on the basis of pinky promises? Canada has responsibility for our own visa policies, based on our own interests. A country that takes its sovereignty seriously does not outsource or negotiate away these responsibilities. “Conservatives call on the Liberal Government to make its visa decisions based on evidence and follow the formal process.”