(This column originally appeared in the Toronto Sun)
By: Candice Malcolm
When it comes to so-called sanctuary immigration policies, Ontario needs a wake-up call.
The New Democrats want to make the entire province a “sanctuary” — where immigration and national security laws don’t apply. This means the province will dole out social services regardless of a person’s immigration status.
Neither the Liberals nor the PCs have objected, but they should.
The NDP is borrowing the plan from the U.S. and will specifically copy a California state law that blocks federal immigration laws.
It’s hard to imagine why Canada — a country with strong laws and a functioning, albeit overwhelmed, immigration system — would borrow policies from a country with a disastrous record and dysfunctional system.
That would be like copying Greece’s financial model or borrowing our national security policy from Syria.
The U.S. immigration system is broken; millions of people have crossed the border illegally and live in the shadows.
They don’t pay income taxes, they don’t have licenses and they live in constant fear of deportation. In many cases, they don’t follow local laws or regulations, they don’t bother learning English, and they live in isolated communities — brewing with resentment.
Sanctuary policies are a Band-Aid solution, and terrible one at that.
It was sanctuary policies that allowed a drugged-up illegal Mexican to shoot and kill 32-year-old Kate Steinle on a San Francisco pier in 2015.
The migrant had been deported at least five times, but he kept coming back. Just days before the shooting, he was arrested in San Francisco and released — you guessed it — because of California’s sanctuary policies.
The NDP’s policy, likewise, would prevent local police from reporting dangerous criminal migrants to federal authorities.
The U.S. has archaic immigration rules, a porous southern border, and an estimated 20 million illegal residents. Sanctuary policies are an American solution to a distinctly American problem.
Canada doesn’t have these sorts of issues. So, who exactly is this NDP policy aimed to protect?
When migrants enter Canada illegally, they are arrested and sent to the CBSA for screening and vetting. If the migrant passes our basic national security checks, they are able to make an asylum claim.
All asylum claimants in Canada already receive instant access to provincial government programs, including health care and social services. The Supreme Court has ruled that asylum seekers must receive the same protections as Canadians.
The only migrants not currently eligible for social services are those deemed inadmissible by our security officials.
Canada bans people who: pose a risk to national security, have committed a human rights violation, have ties to organized crime or a terrorist group, have deliberately lied to a Canadian official or who have been convicted of a serious crime.
Terrorists, war criminals, gangsters, liars and thugs.
In other words, the NDP’s sanctuary policy will only protect the sorts of people we really don’t want in our country. Everyone else is already protected by Canada’s extremely generous policies regarding asylum seekers and refugees.
We even provide social services to migrants whose refugee claims have been rejected, and those with pending deportation orders.
Canada’s immigration problems don’t stem from a lack of generosity or good will. Our problems — which are getting worse by the day — come from a political decision not to enforce our current laws.
We already have a virtue-signalling Prime Minister who refuses to stop illegal crossings at Roxham Rd.