This past Saturday I once again visited the town of Emerson to talk with constituents who are dealing with the ongoing migrant situation there.
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale was also in Emerson to announce $30,000 in funding to help offset some of the costs the municipality has incurred due to this issue. While the small amount of financial help is no doubt appreciated, this is simply a band-aid to a much larger problem.
Canada is a generous and accepting country and our immigration system reflects that. However, we also need to protect the integrity of our border. We have a border for a reason. It is not simply a place where we declare how much we purchased on our weekend shopping trip to Grand Forks. The border is there to protect the safety and security of our country and it spans across the continent from the Atlantic to the Pacific, not only at official ports of entry.
Keeping in mind that there is a safe and legal process in place for those fleeing violence and persecution to make a refugee claim, I released the following statement which asked Justin Trudeau to clarify his position on this issue.
“Canada is a generous and accepting country and our immigration system reflects that. However, we also need to protect the integrity of our border. We must always consider our national security and do our due diligence to make sure we know who is entering our country, where they are entering and why.
We also need to ensure that the system is consistent and fair for all those seeking to make Canada their new home.
As media have reported, Justin Trudeau’s message of “welcome to Canada” has created a great deal of confusion regarding where he stands on the issue of illegal migration. His continued inaction on this issue only serves to further confuse Canadians regarding where he stands.
On behalf of my constituents in Provencher, I am asking him to set the record straight and answer the following question:
Was his open invitation to migrants restricted to only legal means of crossing the border, or, as we’re seeing near Emerson, did it include an invitation for migrants to cross illegally by avoiding Canadian border crossings?
If he approves of these crossings, can he explain to Canadians why he is putting the integrity of our border at risk?
If he opposes these illegal crossings, I call on him to say so publicly and to also immediately close the loophole which is allowing for this abuse of our Canadian generosity.”
The people of Emerson have gone above and beyond to assist with the influx of illegal migrants and their efforts should be commended. Now Prime Minister Trudeau needs to follow their lead and step up to close the loophole. Monitoring this situation is not good enough.
The residents living along the border and the thousands of people patiently waiting to come to this great country of ours deserve no less.