Luckily for Justin Trudeau, he “welcomes immigrants”, because reports are flooding in that the number of illegals crossing the border has tripled since last year, with many migrants claiming political asylum from the U.S. because of President Trump’s executive order.
Dramatic photos on the Daily Mail show immigrants being stopped at the border, as well as some trying to run across un-patrolled areas.
Trudeau and Trump so far maintain a successful working partnership, with the Canadian Prime Minister’s recent visit with the newly elected U.S. president and his daughter going very well and solidifying political relations between the two nations. Recently, the two spoke over the phone about the rising number of migrants trying to cross the Canadian border and how to ease the problem.
The Daily Mail reports, “As of February 13, some 3,800 people had made an asylum claim in 2017, up from the same period last year and on track to approach the 2008 peak of 36,867, said Scott Bardsley, spokesman for Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale.”
The Daily Mail also reports:
Trudeau, who stresses that Canada welcomes refugees, has so far avoided political fallout with Trump. The two talked on the phone about the border and other issues on Thursday but neither government gave many details of the conversation.
Allies and opponents alike say they want a strategy to cope with the dozens of people – mainly from Burundi, Eritrea, Syria, Ghana and Sudan – walking across the border every day.
The premier of the western province of Manitoba, where many of the refugees end up, on Thursday asked Ottawa for more resources to deal with the new arrivals, some of whom have lost fingers to frostbite in the dangerous crossing.
While Brian Pallister said his province will welcome those in need with ‘open arms and open hearts,’ his call for a national strategy to deal with the arrivals adds to opposition criticism that Trudeau has put national security at risk by embracing asylum seekers.
As of February 13, some 3,800 people had made an asylum claim in 2017, up from the same period last year and on track to approach the 2008 peak of 36,867, said Scott Bardsley, spokesman for Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale.
Bardsley said comparable data for the January 1 to February 13 period in 2016 was not available.
The asylum seekers are breaking the law because Canada’s policy under a Canada-US Safe Third Country Agreement is to turn back refugees if they make claims at border crossings. Trudeau and Trump discussed border cooperation in their phone call on Thursday.
The White House said Trump emphasized the importance of working closely with Canada on cross-border issues, ‘including implementation of his administration’s actions to protect America from terrorist attacks by foreign nationals and others’.
Officials say Trump will soon issue a new executive order to replace the administration’s directive suspending travel to the US by citizens of seven mostly Muslim countries.
Warmer weather could spur more arrivals of asylum-seekers in Canada.
‘They know they are in a pickle. If people are coming over in February, what’s it going to be like in June and July?’ said University of Toronto political science professor Nelson Wiseman.
Polls show Canadians are split over whether Canada should be accepting more or fewer refugees. But even Liberal legislators are starting to hear from constituents concerned about the arrivals.
‘One or two people have raised the issue with me … and I expect I’ll have a few more’ conversations with constituents about the arrivals, said Kevin Lamoureux, member of parliament for Winnipeg North, where many asylum seekers settle awaiting their refugee hearing.
Other dramatic photos that were taken last week, captured the moment eight asylum seekers, including four children, barely made it across the Canadian border as a US border patrol officer tried to stop them.
The photos, which included smiling Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) greeting men, women, teens and children went viral last week.
A US Customs and Border Patrol officer seized their passports and questioned a man in the front passenger seat of a taxi that had pulled up to the border in Champlain, New York.
As the man was being questioned, four adults and four young children fled the cab and ran to RCMP on the other side.
But Sergeant Harold Pfleiderer of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police told The New York Times that ‘there has been an increase in illegal migration in Quebec, Manitoba and British Columbia, with the largest increase being seen in Quebec’.
The reason they are crossing into Canada is because the country is part of an agreement that bars refugees that have already arrived in another ‘safe’ country from trying to trade up to another country.
Asylum-seekers sneak across because even if they are caught, they can make a claim in Canada; if they make a claim at a border crossing, they are turned away.
Trudeau has admitted that he is ‘very concerned’ with the amount of asylum seekers crossing into rural areas.
But Trudeau did not say whether he would seek to suspend Canada’s agreement with the US and allow these people to apply for refugee status at official borders.
The majority of these crossings have been happening on the New York-Quebec border, which authorities attribute to its closeness to the major East Coast cities.