Queue jumping will feed racism

You’re not a racist if you think there are too many people illegally entering Canada from the United States to claim asylum. Many Canadians both in traditional populations and immigrant communities see it as cheating or queue jumping and the Canadian government hasn’t successfully assuaged those concerns.
If the Liberal Government do not handle this file correctly, Canadians will start to resent our tradition of welcoming people fleeing untenable situations. It’s happening in Germany and Sweden, the other two refugee-friendly countries, so it is imperative our government recognize and address the why of resentment rather than putting all opposition down to racism.
The obvious place to begin are those Nigerians who are flying into the United States with American visitor Visas and immediately crossing into Canada illegally.
That’s a no brainer they should be arrested and immediately returned to their country of origin. If we don’t stop this scam decisively, it will mushroom as nationals from other countries get on the band wagon.
Canada is welcoming but let’s not be made out as fools, Mr. Trudeau.
We also have to acknowledge that for the first time in our history (except for American draft dodgers) we must deal with refugees fleeing across the border from our neighbouring country. Today the United States is not a safe country for some people.
One such group are the Haitians. There were 60,000 Haitians given temporary protected status in the United States after the devastating 2010 hurricane. This beleaguered country has not been able to rebuild their infrastructure to accommodate the return of so many people and the 2016 hurricane has left the country in an even more desperate state. With the American government deporting these Haitians by 2019, they are a legitimately fleeing the United States and seeking refugee status in Canada.
We have a tradition of bringing in tens of thousands of refugees including Vietnamese, Tamils, Syrians. Over time these refugees have added much to Canada. But that doesn’t mean governments stop being mindful of resentment.
The federal government should provide much better support to those municipalities most affected by border crossings with quicker financial support, more temporary housing options and medical services.
The European Union left Italy on the hook for 600,000 refugees flooding their coastline and now in a defensive reaction, its people have elected a populist party that will treat immigrants and refugees very badly! It is tragic that it has come to this.
The Canadian government needs to be much more transparent in their discussion of over-land refugee claimants.
We need to very clearly separate who is being persecuted south of the border and who just wants to get into Canada.
We need to know the numbers, those who enter and those who are deported.
We have excellent immigration and refugee policies. We are the most successful multicultural country in the world. But if Canadians aren’t convinced that we are dealing severely with queue jumping and abuse, we too can easily take the low road to racism, tribalism and nationalism.

B.P. Schimke
ECA Review

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