Justin Trudeau makes broad immigration promises

Columnist Peter Gatembu

Columnist Peter Gatembu

The Canadian Border Services Agency reported a 63 percent increase in the number of asylum seekers this year in Canada compared to last year.

A tweet late last month from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada will continue to accept asylum seekers crossing illegally from the United States but will ensure security measures are taken to keep Canadians safe.

Critics questioned the Canadian Prime Minister’s stance in the wake of America’s newly elected President Donald Trump’s immigration order, which is currently focusing on removing any individual charged with or convicted of any criminal offense, as well as anyone already ordered deported.

Hundreds of statusless migrants are still crossing over to int Canada in hopes of refuge because of President Trump’s executive order on illegal migrants in the U.S.

Most of the individuals that have a desire to cross over to Canada are using other routes other than the already government designated points of entry.

The reason why many asylum seekers are using alternative routes to illegally get into Canada is because of the Third Country Agreement which is a bilateral agreement signed in 2004 between America and Canada which prohibits refugees the right to seek refuge in Canada once they set foot on American soil, for America is considered a safe country from which to apply or obtain asylum status.

A section of Canadians are starting to question the legitimacy of Trudeau’s commitment to asylum seekers. The Canadian opposition conservatives want Trudeau’s liberal government to stem the flow of asylum seekers from the United States citing security fears and a lack of adequate resources allocated to deal with them.

Many citizens of Canada are scared the refugees fleeing Trump’s America are criminals and terrorists with bad intentions that could eventually harm the Canadian people.

Canada and the U.S. have had a stable relationship that has spurned regional growth in terms of trade and economics, so both countries need each other.

A joint press statement on Monday, both leaders pledged a longstanding commitment to close cooperation in addressing challenges affecting both nations. According to Canada’s government website, nearly nine million U.S jobs depend on trade and investment in Canada, while Canada is the top customer for 35 U.S states.

With President Trump taking a conservative standpoint, and Prime Minister Trudeau leaning more on the liberal side, most North American citizens are weary of that the relationship between Canada and the U.S. might erode.

The worrying aspect to many Canadians is that some of the refugees who are now crossing to Canada could be criminals and terrorists who are fleeing the U.S following Trump’s order to crackdown on illegal aliens.

Earlier this week, Canada vowed to now help more immigrants from Iraq. Many are starting to question if the Canadian Prime Minister is really ready to handle the large number of illegal immigrants being admitted into Canada. Could it be a political stance being pulled by Trudeau, so as to look better than Trump? Only time will tell.

The U.S. should respect Article 14 of the universal Declaration of Human Rights which protects and gives all individuals the right to seek and enjoy protection from persecution if considered an asylum seeker.

Trump’s contradicting policy on immigration has not only left Canada with an influx of illegal immigrants crossing over its borders, but has also instilled fear among innocent non-violent undocumented immigrants like students and children.