So a few stories related to our border, the continuing illegal immigration crisis and the nearly $200 million you likely didn’t know was being spent to process more illegals this year.
First off, a great story from National Post confirms what so many of us knew by instinct. When Justin Trudeau tweeted a welcome to the world’s refugees, people took it serious.
To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 28, 2017
According to the story from Marie-Danielle Smith, Trudeau’s tweet saw embassies overwhelmed with requests.
“We are receiving an increasing number of enquiries from the public about requesting refugee status in Canada, and a number clearly having links with our Prime Minister’s tweet this weekend,” wrote one Canadian official at the embassy in Mexico.
While appearing on my radio show Beyond the News, Conservative MP Michelle Rempel, who serves as immigration critic, said not only do these numbers not surprise her, the flood of illegal immigration continues.
Citing government statistics, Rempel said 3,000 people crossed the border illegally to seek asylum in Canada in January and February alone. Numbers for March are not yet available but she expects the pattern to follow what happened last year when the numbers increased as the weather got warmer.
You can listen to the interview here.
During the interview, Rempel dropped something on me that I hadn’t heard about. In the latest federal budget there is a paragraph devoted to spending an extra $173 million this year on processing illegal immigration.
The wording is interesting.
Irregular Migration: Managing the Border
The Government of Canada is committed to protecting the safety of Canadians and keeping our borders secure. At the same time, people seeking asylum must be treated with compassion and afforded due process under Canadian and international law, and in keeping with our values as an open and welcoming country. To that end, the Government proposes to provide $173.2 million to support security operations at the Canada-U.S. border and the processing of asylum claimants arriving in 2018–19. Funding would be used to manage the increased number of people seeking asylum in Canada this year, many of whom arrive with their families seeking quick, safe and compassionate processing. Funds would be used to provide short term processing and security screening supports at the border, as well as to support decision-making capacity for the Immigration and Refugee Board.
First off, note the use of the term irregular migration. Let’s be blunt, these are mostly economic migrants walking across the border illegally because they know they wouldn’t qualify under the regular immigration system as refugees. Crossing illegally buys them a few years in Canada before they ever face the possibility of deportation.
Secondly, while the government says this is about securing the border, when you read the description their idea of securing the border is putting more people along the border to process those that are coming in illegally.
This was reported sporadically in the days after the budget but not by many media outlets and several of the stories I read mentioned it in passing and said the government was securing the border. Faster processing of paperwork is not securing anything.
Canada has a fairly well functioning immigration system and support for legal immigration remains fairly high, especially compared to other countries.
But if Canada ignores the lessons of other countries that support will erode if the government does nothing to actually deal with this problem and stop the flow of border jumpers.