In 2012, Canada made regulatory changes and adopted legislations amending the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, including the Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act and the Balanced Refugee Reform Act. These pieces of legislation contain a number of measures which include: expedited refugee claim hearings, reduced procedural guarantees and reviews, growing use of socioeconomic deterrents, and increased immigration detention. Drawing on a qualitative research, this article explores the unintended results and counter-productive effects of these new measures, with a particular focus on their practical and human rights implications. It is argued that the government has used the language of security to rationalise the imposition of disproportionately harsh treatment on asylum seekers. Unsurprisingly, the new measures have resulted in violations of asylum seekers’ human rights. In addition, they have had a detrimental impact on third parties involved in the refugee protection system, such as legal counsels and service providers. Finally, it is argued that there is a correlation between the new refugee measures and the increase in irregular migration in Canada.