“The world’s longest undefended border.” Once a testament to friendship and trust between Canada and the United States, the world’s longest undefended border is today a porous illegal entry of convenience into this nation.
“They’re refugees” declare those who view national borders as an antiquated system of exclusion. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, most likely responsible for much of the current influx of illegals from the U.S., weirdly describes the entries as “irregular.”
For the record, they aren’t refugees. They are illegal opportunists who may or may not simultaneously be in possession of an active refugee application in the United States.
Reports suggest border crossers are fearful of having special temporary U.S. status revoked by the Trump administration. Just as likely and perhaps more so is that many of the newly arrived ‘irregulars’ were wooed by the Justin Trudeau tweet of this year, as American president Donald Trump first attempted to block access to the U.S. to citizens of seven Middle Eastern and North African nations.
Trudeau’s tweet on January 28 read “to those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #Welcome To Canada.”
Canada’s Prime Minister made the issue one of faith. The President of the United States had defined it as a proactive deterrence to terrorism.
Regardless, Canada’s Prime Minister had thrown open the gates.
Canada and the United States in 2004 signed the Safe Third Country Agreement which disallows refugee nation shopping. A self-declared refugee must file an asylum claim in the first of the two countries he or she enters. A claimant in the U.S. may not decide later that Canada appears more attractive, convenient or generous and transfer or begin a new asylum claim here, or vice versa.
That is, as long as they’re attempting to use an in-place and staffed land border crossing.
If though a claimant with an active refugee file in the United States decides to enter Canada on foot where the border is unstaffed, such an entry while officially deemed illegal does not result in automatic and immediate removal from Canadian soil. Instead, the person is nominally arrested and must submit to a criminal background check. If no red flags are discovered and if the individual has not been refused entry into Canada previously the asylum claimant’s next appointment is with a Canadian immigration official who initiates a claim which the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) will later adjudicate.
The new Canadian asylum claimant is now entitled to free legal aid, a special work permit, free health care and enrolment in school for those of primary and secondary education age.
What happens to the person whose refugee claim is eventually declined by the Immigration and Refugee Board? The person can be ordered out of Canada, but what if they’ve slipped below public radar in the interim? Just add the name to the existing and lengthy list. The federal government set that number at 38,000 in 2014.
Even if a failed claimant is located an IRB expulsion order can take decades and cost taxpayers millions of dollars to conclude, should the individual decide to engage all appeal options.
In 1987 Mahmoud Mohammad Issa Mohammad applied for Canadian asylum as a refugee. He failed though to disclose his past to Canadian officials. A past which included membership in a terrorist organization which in 1968 had attacked an Israeli airliner with grenades and machine-gun fire in Greece. Two years later Mohammad was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 17 years imprisonment. Another terror group though attacked another airliner and threatened to kill the passengers unless Mohammad was released. He was.
A year after he filed an asylum application a Canadian immigration official ruled Mohammad should be expelled from this country, yet time and again the convicted killer appealed expulsion orders until finally, in 2013, after 25 years and a legal case which cost Canada’s taxpayers more than $3 million, Mohammad was deported to Lebanon.
A number of Canadian municipalities, including Hamilton, are self-declared sanctuary cities which provide no status questions asked municipal services to foreigners illegally in Canada. Such municipalities may either prefer or expect their police to not assist the Canada Border Services Agency in identifying illegal individuals, which begs the question are police expected to ignore federal law because a local council declares they should?
Toronto city councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong was one of three council members to vote against the city adopting sanctuary status and told Torstar News Service the sanctuary city concept is “soft hearted” and “soft headed.”
Minnan-Wong added “Giving sanctuary to illegal immigrants is an insult to everyone who is waiting to enter this country legally. It sends a message to the world that it is okay to break the law to come to Canada and now you can get away with it.”
Councillor Minnan-Wong is correct.
And that brings us back to the Prime Minister and his January tweet.