In what many news agencies are billing as a reaction to President Trump’s “rhetoric on illegal immigrants,” the number of illegal border crossings into Canada has risen sharply. Reports indicate that around 250 people are entering every day with a record 400 on Sunday alone. In response, Canada militarizes southern border to address the influx.
The Canadian military has been sent to the southern border, ostensibly to help construct a migrant camps on the Quebec-New York State border (Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle). Yet questions remain as to whether the 100 plus troops are there to build or to assist the Mounties in border enforcement.
Many of the more recent arrivals are Haitian immigrants who have been living in the US. Fuelled by a misinformation campaign by the Left, the Haitians now believe that their right to remain is under threat and have decided to try their luck in Canada.
A string of disasters in Haiti, starting in 2010 with the earthquake, caused many (up to 58,000) to seek asylum in the US. The program that allowed settlement received a 6-month extension under former Homeland Security Secretary, John Kelly; yet Haitians are not willing to risk being deported back to their own country.
Secretary Kelly said: “This six-month extension should allow Haitian TPS (Temporary Protected Status) recipients living in the United States time to attain travel documents and make other necessary arrangements for their ultimate departure from the United States, and should also provide the Haitian government with the time it needs to prepare for the future repatriation of all current TPS recipients.”
The fact that the Canadian military has been sent to build a migrant camp sent more messages than appear on the face of the decision. They are, in effect, setting up a “wall” to control the flow of immigrants into their country; thereby ensuring that illegal, unregistered border crossings are not taking place. However, as Canada militarizes southern border, this initial strategy is likely to prove ineffective in the long term.
“In 2016, refugee status was granted to roughly 50% of Haitians whose claims were considered, up slightly from the 40% success rate of applicants in 2015, according to Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board.”
Haitians who are “processed” in the regular manner have only a 50% chance of being allowed to stay, it will soon become apparent that their best option is to cross at a different point along the border and take their chances registering in a different province (one not quite as beleaguered as Quebec). Will the Canadian Military then deploy to more points along the southern border?
Conservative pundits and Social Media users have suggested that Canada is starting to get a feel for what the US experiences along its own southern border. The US has decided to build a wall; the Canadians have decided to send in the army.
Mark is a political writer and journalist who has worked on campaigns for Brexit.