With all the attention on the Liberals’ tax increases on small business owners and Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s ethical amnesia, it’s been a while since I have updated the residents of Provencher on the issue of illegal border crossings. Unfortunately, nine months into this crisis, little has changed.
Since January more than 15,000 people have illegally entered Canada. I have called upon Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale repeatedly to address this alarming trend. In nine months here is what they have been able to come up with.
1. Have the Americans put up signs on their side of the border informing people who are intending to illegally enter Canada that what they plan to do is illegal. To quote Minister Goodale,”They’re examining what they can do to communicate.”
2. To ask the US Department of Homeland Security to inform Canada before announcing policies that could contribute to a spike in illegal border crossings to allow Canadian authorities time to prepare.
3. To ask US officials to examine their process for issuing travel documents as, in many cases, US travel documents are being issued to people who have no intention of staying in the United States. Rather they are “using the documents as vehicles to get into the United States and then make a beeline for the Canadian border.”
These ideas hardly scratch the surface of this issue. Instead of creating the proper framework for individuals to immigrate to Canada legally, the Liberals have built tent cities and constructed makeshift bridges to help people break Canada’s laws. They’re able to have illegal migrants on welfare in a matter of days, but they offer no quick solutions when it comes to protecting the integrity of our borders.
After nine months of inaction, putting up signs won’t do much good considering Justin Trudeau has had a sign out for months—it says “welcome to Canada”.
Points 2 and 3 are good ideas but they are so long overdue that at this juncture it is almost a moot point.
There are common sense solutions to the illegal migrant crisis, chief among them being to simply return those who enter Canada illegally from the United States back to the US. We know that individuals in the United States are not facing violence, persecution, or war and therefore do not fit within the definition of a genuine refugee. Canada’s bilateral agreement with the Americans, the Safe Third Country Agreement allows us to do exactly that. Another option would be to take steps to dissuade individuals from entering Canada illegally. If individuals knew that entering Canada illegally would hurt their chances at staying in Canada, they wouldn’t break the law in the first place. Finally, we need to ensure that assistance programs and other benefits are available to Canadians and genuine immigrants and refugees – rather than expediting them for individuals entering Canada illegally. Doing so would decrease illegal entries into Canada.