(This column originally appeared in the Toronto Sun)
By: Candice Malcolm
While border security and building a border wall has been front and centre in the U.S. news, Canada has quietly been admitting and welcoming America’s illegal migrants.
As reported by the Canadian Press, Canada is proactively giving visas to those who were in the U.S. illegally.
According to Vanessa Routley, an immigration lawyer who helped someone who was an illegal migrant in the U.S. obtain a student visa in Canada, this would not have happened three years ago.
“In the past, if someone had failed to comply with the regulations of another country, Canada was not willing to take a chance on them to admit them and to ask them to follow our rules,” she told CP.
According to CP, “over the last few years, the Canadian government might have quietly revised its approach to some of these applications.”
Routley admitted she would not have accepted such a case a few years ago, but under the new government, the rules seemed to have changed. She has now successfully helped a few illegal migrant clients from the U.S. come to Canada legally.
I reported on this phenomenon 15 months ago.
After a gruesome terrorist attack in Edmonton, where a Somali refugee was accused of driving a truck into a crowd, running over five people and stabbing a police officer, we learned the man had once been an illegal migrant in the U.S.
Abdulahi Hasam Sharif illegally crossed the U.S. border from Mexico — the part of the border without a wall — and was detained by U.S. officials. He had no passport and couldn’t explain why he was in Mexico in the first place.
The Americans ordered his deportation back to Somalia, but instead, he skipped out on bail and made his way up to America’s other border — where he once again crossed illegally.
He was detained by Canadian officials, and made an asylum claim that was eventually successful.
Why did Canada let him stay? Why did we award refugee status to a man who had previously broken immigration laws?
As part of my investigation into this case, I spoke to a former senior official with the department of public safety, who told me this man should not have been admitted into Canada.
Even though Sharif had no passport and used a different name when making his refugee claim in Canada, our biometric screening system is designed to identify such individuals and to stop foreign criminals from moving within the Five Eyes security network.
To my surprise, in response to my report on this case, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety Mark Holland wrote a letterto the Toronto Sun taking issues with my column and explaining why Sharif was able to stay.
“Sharif’s identity was indeed confirmed by CBSA through both biometrics and biographical information,” he wrote.
So why did we let this illegal migrant, who is now on trial for an ISIS-inspired terrorist attack, into our country?
Holland stated, in no uncertain terms, “your admissibility to another country does not affect your ability to enter Canada or make an asylum claim.”
There you have it. A Canadian politician has stated its policy to ignore the immigration status of would-be migrants coming from our neighbour and closest ally.
We’ve quietly become a sanctuary country.
As the U.S. cracks down on dangerous criminals who entered their country illegally, Canada has once again become a potential safe haven for illegal migrants, foreign criminals and even terrorists.