Last Updated on February 7, 2020
August 17, 2017 – A new poll suggests half of Quebec residents would like to see asylum seekers stopped from crossing the Canada-U.S. border illegally.
The SOM-Cogeco Nouvelles survey says 51 per cent of those asked would like to see the border secured. Currently an estimated 200 migrants per day are crossing from New York into Quebec in order to escape Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown.
Older and less educated people were more likely to favour stopping the influx of asylum seekers than younger people and those with a university education, the poll found.
A stronger 56 per cent of the more than 1,000 respondents said migrants crossing illegallyshould not be given priority treatment by Canadian authorities. Meanwhile, 39 per cent said Quebec will be less safe because of the increased number of asylum seekers.
Canada is well equipped to deal with the sudden influx of asylum seekers into Quebec from the U.S., according to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
But he did issue a warning that Canada immigration would continue to be carried out in an orderly fashion, meaning all those crossing the border illegally would have to follow proper channels.
“We want migration to Canada to be done in an orderly fashion; there’s border checkpoints and border controls that we need to make sure are respected,” Trudeau said. “The people coming now irregularly will still have to go through all the proper processes.”
Canada’s Core Strength
Canada remains open and ready to help refugees, Trudeau said, but that could only happen within the confinements of a system that works and is trusted by Canadian citizens.
“The core strength of Canada is that it’s not governments that are open to immigration, it’s Canadians themselves who are open to immigration,” he said.
“One of the reasons Canadians are open to immigration is because we know it has contributed to the growth of this country. Protecting Canadians’ confidence in the integrity of our system allows us to continue to be open, and that’s exactly what I plan to continue to do.”
Montreal’s Olympic Stadium is being used as a temporary residence for asylum seekers from the U.S. following a continued surge in numbers crossing the border illegally.
Safe Third Country Agreement
Simply the perception that Trump wants to rid the U.S. of illegals and dramatically limit immigration has pushed many to look to Canada for refuge.
But under the Safe Third Country Agreement, an asylum seeker must claim refugee status in the country to which they arrive.
It means asylum seekers cannot cross from the U.S. to Canada at recognized border points. Instead, they are forced to cross the border at unprotected outposts, allowing them to make a claim for asylum after being arrested.
There have been several calls for Canada to suspend the agreement, but both Trudeau and Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen say there are no plans to do this.
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