The failures of the Federal government when it comes to the southern border are now becoming explicitly clear.
In a recent report by the Globe and Mail Transport Minister Marc Garneau was quoted as saying “We estimate that a bit more than 90 per cent of irregular migrants do not meet our criteria (to claim asylum) and that they must leave.”
Marc’s quote roughly means that 90% of the people crossing are genuinely not refugees passing through the border, but instead are people who qualify as potential immigrants and are attempting to bypass the current legal methods of coming to Canada.
Given this high rate of non-refugees, you’d assume more people would be deported. In reality, this does not occur. In the same Globe and Mail article, Canada Border Services Agency stated that a total of 243 irregular migrants have been removed since April 2017.
That is equal to roughly 1% of the total number of individuals who crossed the border in that time period.
Why Are So Few being Deported?
Once an individual has made it across the border, they are afforded full rights, meaning that they must be provided a complete claims process, and then an appeals process if denied. When our system is not overwhelmed this entire process takes time, with the currently rapidly rising rate of new claimants that time frame has quickly grown longer and longer.
For example, according to the CBC in October the wait time for refugee status was 16 months. In February, it was 20 months. According to an internal report from the Immigrant and Refugee Board, if current rates of border crossing continue, the wait could be as long as 11 years by 2021.
What could occur going forward?
An 11 year wait time is simply not sustainable, logical, or moral. If Canada is placed in a situation in which large groups of people have been left without status for 11 years at a time, it is my belief that Canadians will then do the merciful thing and provide amnesty.
This is not the future we should be walking towards.
As a Canadian who came to this country through legal immigration, I can’t stress enough how much this entire scenario bothers me. The 90% who does not qualify in reality is coming to Canada, being provided with work permits, and then if the problem becomes terrible enough could become Canadians.
What does that say to everyone else? What value does that place on the Canadian passport and our great immigration system which at this moment ranks individuals based on the skills they bring to the country?
In the most straightforward sense, it devalues it.
It tells individuals that they can ignore our laws, and come here regardless of what they bring or do, and will be accepted.
The federal government has a responsibility to maintain our system of immigration and must move past blind ideology, base-pleasing, and media chasing.
Everyone understands that acting to enforce border security is not an exactly popular or media-friendly move, but it is the required one.