The signals that governments send matter.
(This column originally appeared in the Toronto Sun)
By: Candice Malcolm
Canada’s border crisis continues to get worse. And the problem seems to have stumped even our country’s lawmakers.
During a marathon session in Parliament this week, it became clear that the solutions being proposed by MPs aren’t going to work.
The Conservatives have suggested that Canada designate the entire border an official port of entry. Right now, migrants cross illegally at Roxham Rd. to avoid CBSA officials and circumvent the Safe Third Agreement. That law prohibits asylum seekers coming from the U.S.
If the entire border were to become an official border, CBSA officials would have the authority to stop border-hoppers from claiming asylum.
But there’s another problem.
Borders require cooperation. In order for the CBSA to turn migrants away, they need somewhere to send them — they’d need to work with U.S. officials to return illegal applicants.
Without co-operation from the U.S., we can’t unilaterally change our border procedures.
By contrast, the New Democrats are calling for Canada to suspend the Safe Third Country agreement altogether. This would likely stop the flow of illegal crossings, as it would allow asylum seekers to show up at regular ports of entry.
But Canada has received 67,000 refugee applications in the past 16 months. This has created a massive backlog in our refugee determination process; the current wait time to see a refugee judge is almost two years.
In the meantime, Canada’s all-you-can-eat buffet of government handouts creates incentives for bogus asylum seekers to show up and take advantage of these freebies.
Our hospitals are already overcrowded and underfunded. Homeless shelters in Toronto have experienced a 500% increase in asylum seeker residents — the city is now housing migrants in college dorms and community centres.
If we started to allow asylum seekers to show up anywhere along the Canada-U.S. border, the surge of asylum seekers would get much worse.
As for the government’s policy, Trudeau is the one who got us into this mess. He invited the world’s migrants to come to Canada last year on Twitter, and now he’s blaming everyone but himself – the Conservatives, Trump, and even the Nigerian government.
That brings us to another idea, suggested by my colleague Anthony Furey: “Someone has to say it – it’s time to build a wall at Roxham Rd.”
According to officials, about 96% of illegal border crossings take place at this one location. I visited Roxham Rd. last month and saw how the Liberal government works to facilitate illegal immigration.
They’ve built a land bridge to help migrants cross illegally. They’ve stationed RCMP officers 24/7 to receive asylum seekers. They’ve built permanent structures to register and house migrants during initial screening, and, for some reason still unexplained, they have a CBSA vehicle parked at the illegal crossing.
This welcome wagon sends a message to illegal border-hoppers: Canada will welcome you.
But Canada should not have an open door to migrants who deliberately cheat and bypass an international agreement. Their very first act in Canada is to break our law. Their second act is to start collecting welfare services.
Canada should be sending a very different message. A wall at Roxham, or at least a fence, would tell migrants that the game is over. More importantly, it would send that message to the human trafficking rings who facilitate these illegal crossings.
If they move to another location, en masse, then we should build another wall or fence.
Canada has laws, and it’s time the Trudeau government started enforcing them.