The electing of Donald Trump as President has caused illegal immigrants in the United States to fear deportation. For the first time in almost a decade, people living illegally in the United States of America are facing eviction. The result of this panic? Many have looked to Canada as a new home. Canada’s slack immigration and asylum laws, along with being geographically located next to the United States, make it very attractive to illegal immigrants attempting to evade deportation.
Canada and the United States share the longest international border between two countries. Much of this border is covered by the boreal forest and contains no security other than a mere sign. When illegal immigrants enter Canada, they either simply walk into society and cities undetected, or they are stopped by RCMP officers. Canadian asylum laws allow anyone who can set their feet on Canadian soil to claim asylum and thus enter the country. Those stopped by RCMP are taken in, have an asylum hearing scheduled, and released into Canada in the hope that they appear at their hearing. With many of these people not meeting Canada’s refugee status, they would either be sent back to the United States or their country of origin after their hearing. Many of the asylum seekers realise this and have no intention of appearing at their hearing, instead choosing to remain in Canada as illegal immigrants.
As snow melts and spring comes along, the number of illegitimate asylum seekers will rise. Canadian Border Services Agency stated 454 asylum claims were made in the province of Quebec in January alone, with another 411 from February 1st – 21st. The total number of people who made refugee claims in Canada, not at official border points, soared to 2,281 between January 1 and February 21, 2017. Jean-Pierre Fortin, president of the Customs and Immigration Union states his frontline members say that the numbers are higher than officials will admit publicly. Fortin stated, “The RCMP doesn’t have the resources…we should have border guards actually patrolling these [areas]”. CBSA policy restricts them from enforcing areas between ports of entry, requesting they alert RCMP of suspected violations. The Union suggests Canada should create a 300 person division to patrol and secure the border between ports of entry. Fortin has pleaded the government to change border policy so border officers may pursue anyone who crosses without going through a port of entry, admitting that”we are not even allowed to chase them”. This would help effectively lower illegal immigration instead of CBSA officers sitting idly by until RCMP can arrive.
Many cities have declared themselves “sanctuary cities”, allowing illegal immigrants to receive all the same benefits and even jobs as Canadian citizens and taxpayers. Toronto, London, Hamilton, Vancouver, and Montreal have all announced themselves as such, with many more cities delegating on the topic today. These city officials, without residential input have decided that Canadian immigration laws do not matter. These municipalities choose to spend their tax dollars to promote illegal immigration rather than: provide more services for the homeless, combat the fentanyl and drug epidemic sweeping young Canadians, or other community services. These cities do not verify a person’s immigration status before granting privileges that Canadians receive such as subsidized housing or employment with the local government. Some of these cities actively refuse to cooperate with Federal immigration authorities and undermine deportation efforts. Sanctuary cities choose to defy Canadian law and demonstrate that their is no benefit or reward to those who immigrated legally.
Canada has one of the most lenient and considerate immigration systems in the world. These sanctuary cities and border policies are an insult to Canadians, especially those who immigrated to Canada legally and abide by the law. We owe Canadians, and to a certain extent legal immigrants, much, much better.