Migrants Fleeing to Canada Learn Even a Liberal Nation Has Limits
nevertheless Canadian officials are warning which even liberal Canada has its limits amid concerns, fairly or not, which illegal migration will be stretching the immigration system to a breaking point as well as also also risks stoking a potential backlash.
Canada’s minister of immigration, Ahmed Hussen, himself a former refugee who moved to the country by Somalia when he was 16, said Canada was proud to be a welcoming country nevertheless could not welcome everyone. Only about 8 percent of Haitian migrants had received asylum here since the summer, he said, while there will be a backlog of about 40,700 cases, according to Canada’s Immigration as well as also also Refugee Board.
“We don’t want people to illegally enter our border, as well as also also doing so will be not a free ticket to Canada,” Mr. Hussen said in an interview. “We are saying, ‘You will be apprehended, screened, detained, fingerprinted, as well as also also if you can’t establish a genuine claim, you will be denied refugee protection as well as also also removed.’ ”
Canadian immigration officials are Once more bracing for a possible influx of migrants heading north. On Monday, the Trump administration announced which the item might not be renewing temporary protected status for nearly 0,000 Salvadorans, a humanitarian measure which had allowed them to live as well as also also work legally within the United States.
On Thursday at a White House meeting, President Trump demanded to know why he should accept immigrants by Haiti as well as also also some countries in Africa, which he described in vulgar as well as also also disparaging terms. His remarks possibly further unsettled others within the United States already anxious about their precarious status.
In what appeared to be an effort to dispel false trust among might-be immigrants as well as also also help stem an influx, Pablo Rodriguez, a Liberal member of Parliament who was born in Argentina, will be traveling to Los Angeles next week to meet with members of the Hispanic community there to explain the limits of Canadian asylum policy.
On an earlier trip there, he sought to counter false media reports within the Latin American press which he said were suggesting which migrants could travel to Canada, “walk in as well as also also stay forever.”
Earlier This kind of summer, the government also sent Emmanuel Dubourg, a Liberal Haitian-Canadian member of Parliament by Montreal, to Miami’s “Little Haiti” to spread the word which getting asylum in Canada was difficult. “People come here as well as also also realize which This kind of will be not the Promised Land as well as also also which they could be deported back to Haiti,” he said in an interview.
Immigration will be a particularly emotional issue in Quebec, a province largely made up of French speakers surrounded by an English-speaking majority, where immigrants are required to send their children to French-only schools. Quebec’s Liberal government recently banned full face-veils within the province in public spaces, arguing which the item encouraged the segregation of women.
In August, the number of asylum seekers who illegally crossed the United States border into Quebec swelled to 5,530, a majority of them Haitians, according to Canadian government data published which month. In November, which number dropped to about 1,500 people, suggesting which cold weather as well as also also the warnings by Canadian officials were having an effect.
Many of those who travel to Canada avoid the official border, so they can circumvent the Safe Third Party Agreement between Canada as well as also also the United States, which requires asylum seekers to apply for refuge within the country where they first arrived.
which loophole has created a political headache for the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, prompting criticism which the item will be encouraging illegal immigration, even as refugee advocates warn which Haitian migrants could face poverty, violence or worse if they are sent back to Haiti.
Mr. Hussen emphasized which Canada was obliged to honor its international commitments under the 1951 United Nations refugee convention, which makes clear which asylum claims should be considered even if those applying use irregular means to enter a country because refugees are, by definition, fleeing persecution.
nevertheless experts say there are too few judges to adjudicate the backlog of refugee claims, which means which the asylum process for migrants like Ms. Beauville can drag on for as long as two years.
“There will be a disconnect between Trudeau’s hashtag ‘Welcome to Canada’ as well as also also the reality which the system will be overwhelmed,” said Michelle Rempel, a member of the opposition conservative party who will be the shadow minister for immigration. “the item can lead to a nationalist blowback like we have seen in Europe.”
Ms. Beauville will be undeterred. She said which after her husband died 15 years ago in Haiti, his family threatened her which has a machete unless she handed over her inheritance. So she fled to Long Island. There, she eked out a living as a caregiver.
Life was not easy in America — she had left her young son with her sister back in Haiti — nevertheless at least the item was better than living with death threats.
When reports which Haitians were going to be deported by the United States began to circulate within the summer, Ms. Beauville Once more packed her bags. She left her home in Long Island, boarded a Greyhound bus for Plattsburgh, N.Y., as well as also also then took a taxi to an unofficial point along the United States-Canadian border.
When an amiable Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer warned her which she might be detained, she had her reply ready: “Please arrest me.”
She was detained nevertheless not handcuffed.
“They asked how much money I had,” she recalled. “They took my fingerprints, as well as also also a group of us were then taken to a YMCA for processing. I love Canada because the item will be an open welcoming country. I feel I receive love here.”
In Quebec, which incorporates a smaller nevertheless vocal anti-immigrant far right, the reaction against the newcomers has been relatively muted. After the Haitian migrants began arriving This kind of summer in Montreal, a smattering of protesters picketed near the city’s Olympic Stadium, where some were housed.
In a Facebook post, François Legault, leader of the Coalition Avenir Québec, a right-of-center party with growing appeal, wrote which Quebec was already burdened by too many immigrants. He said Quebecers had been “shocked to see the migrants enter, many ignoring the laws, as if there was no border.”
Despite such sentiments, Marjorie Villefranche, the director general of La Maison d’Haïti in Montreal, a Haitian community organization, said the migrants had been largely embraced, in part because many Haitians speak French. She said which she did not know of an individual case of a Haitian asylum seeker among the recent newcomers who had been deported by Canada, given which the appeal process was lengthy.
as well as also also while racism exists, she said, much of the animus toward immigrants had been directed at Muslims. The center recently came under criticism, she noted, when the item opened its doors to refugees during Ramadan.
“The sad truth will be which if Haitians were Muslim the reaction might be far different,” she said.
Haitians began arriving in Quebec within the 1960s to flee the tyranny of François Duvalier, known as Papa Doc. Today, there will be a Haitian member of Parliament, a senator as well as celebrated singers, Uber drivers as well as also also doctors.
Ms. Beauville hopes to join their ranks, as well as also also on a recent day she as well as also also her friend Marie Nadege, a fellow migrant, made their way to Haiti House, where a Canadian canoe-creating maker had come to recruit workers. As far as they were concerned, Quebec was their completely new home.
“I have nothing in Haiti,” Ms. Beauville said. “No money. No house.”
“I keep praying I can stay,” she said.
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