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Tory MPs call on government to stop illegal migrant crossings


 
A Somali man is frisked by an RCMP officer after crossing the U.S.-Canada border into Canada near Hemmingford, Que., on Friday, February 17, 2017. A number of refugee claimants are braving the elements to illicitly enter Canada. (Paul Chiasson/CP)

A Somali man is frisked by an RCMP officer after crossing the U.S.-Canada border into Canada near Hemmingford, Que., on Friday, February 17, 2017. A number of refugee claimants are braving the elements to illicitly enter Canada. (Paul Chiasson/CP)

MONTREAL – Two Conservative MPs are calling on the federal government to act to stop the flow of people illegally crossing the United States border into Canada.

Michelle Rempel and Tony Clement tweeted on Sunday that illegal crossings are unsafe and place a burden on local law enforcement.

“The government must respond to this situation in a way that keeps Canadians safe, and sends a strong message to those considering an illegal crossing that there are proper channels to do this,” Rempel wrote.

Clement, who is the public safety critic for the Conservatives, tweeted his support for Rempel’s comments.

“Illegal crossings are unsafe and a burden on local communities. Our laws should be enforced,” he wrote.

Rempel’s message was posted after Manitoba RCMP announced that another 22 people were intercepted crossing the border near Emerson on Saturday night.

Officials have said a growing number of people are choosing to walk across the border into Canada to claim refugee status, including dozens who have been arrested in the Emerson area in recent weeks.

Other provinces including Quebec have also seen a large rise in the number of refugee claimants who enter the province illegally.

The tactic is a way to avoid the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement, which prevents most people who have been living in the United States from making a refugee claim at an official border crossing on the premise that they are already somewhere safe.

This has prompted some people to cross elsewhere in order to make their claims from within Canada, where authorities generally grant them a hearing.

Montreal immigration lawyer Eric Taillefer said the easiest way to stop the illegal border crossings is to suspend the Safe Third Country Agreement and allow people to request refugee status at official border crossings.

“These people are not crossing in the winter in -30 degree weather for fun — they’re doing it because they don’t have a choice,” he said in a phone interview.

A spokesperson for Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said Ottawa wasn’t planning to suspend the agreement.

“The Safe Third Country Agreement remains an important tool for Canada and the U.S. to work together on the orderly handling of refugee claims made in our countries,” Camielle Edwards said in an email.

Edwards said the government and RCMP were working to address the increase in asylum claims, which remains “well below previous fluctuations.”

As for Rempel and Clement’s comments, Taillefer suggested the tougher rules implemented under former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper may have contributed to the current problem by making it more difficult for refugees to enter the country lawfully.

“It’s a bit their fault if we’re in this situation, because the new refugee claim system that is having problems was put in place by the Conservatives in 2012. Before that, we didn’t have these kind of problems,” he said.


 

Tory MPs call on government to stop illegal migrant crossings

  1. Well I just crossed Michelle Rempel off my list….and she was the last name on it,

    • Em, I don’t believe that anyone wants your vote.

  2. Blaming the previous Conservative government is a convenient excuse. The Liberals can change the rules at any time because they have the support of the NDP to open the borders right up. Saying they are being arrested in a kind of joke. They are arrested but are taken right away to the Canadian border services where they can make a refugee claim right away and then taken to a shelter in Winnipeg. It is more of a taxi service than anything else. This kind of system is unfair to applicants for immigration all over the world who are trying to come to Canada legally. Plus Canada already takes a certain percentage of the total number of immigrants as refugees. These people are stopping those who apply legally from coming to Canada. The ones who are coming in illegally are also coming from places like Somalia where there is complete chaos with terrorist groups like al Shabab. Canada has no way of vetting these people who are walking in to determine what their history is.

  3. FALSE NEWS OFFICIAL: Canadian border services are building additional Duty Free shops along the U.S./Canada border due to an urgent need to sell Canadian passports at every port of entry (No I.D. required).

  4. Message to Conservatives, Canada is not an Island, it’s apart of North American continent, cant control who shows up at our borders. Trudeau said Canada are a welcoming nation, and the Cons interpreted as code for, Canada is welcoming all immigrants to come to our borders. Fear is starting to seep its way back into our nation, i don’t want to live in fear, we already live next door to fear, we don’t need it as a tenant in our country.

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