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ALBAS: Illegal border crossers at front of immigration line

Dan Albas a Member of Parliament.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Dan Albas
October 08, 2017 - 12:00 PM

 


OPINION


Many now believe a well-intended tweet from Prime Minister Trudeau helped to instigate a surge of illegal border crossings into Canada. I will give the Prime Minister some credit as he has since modified his message to point out that while “Canada is an opening and welcoming society,” that “We are also a country of laws.”

These more recent quotes were a result of roughly 8,000 recent illegal border crossings into Canada. Keep in mind in Ottawa, the Liberal Government refers to an illegal border crossing as an “irregular” border crossing.

Recently at the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, opposition MP's had the opportunity to question senior officials from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to learn more about how this situation was being handled.

Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Dan Albas

The committee learned that in many cases there is an alarming lack of data. As an example, the Department had no information of how many people, who entered Canada in 2017 through illegal points of entry, had been found to have criminal backgrounds. Likewise there is no data on the percentage of asylum claims from those entering Canada illegally, as opposed to legally.

Some information that Department could confirm. The Government has directed, through Ministerial order, that those entering Canada illegally will receive expedited health benefit coverage along with expedited work permits. This basically means that those who are entering Canada illegally are going to the front of the line ahead of those who enter through legal methods.

Conversely, it has also been revealed that roughly 80 IRCC staff members have been diverted to deal with asylum claims from those who have entered Canada illegally thus increasing the wait time for those who have legally followed all of the rules to remain in Canada.

My question for this week: Do you think it is a good policy for those who enter Canada legally and follow the rules, to be placed at the back of the line while those who enter illegally receive expedited treatment?

I can be reached at dan.albas@parl.gc.ca or call toll free 1-800-665-8711.

— Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola


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