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  #1  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2017, 12:48 AM
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Emerson, Manitoba border crossings

22 people crossed into Canada at Emerson, Manitoba between Saturday night and Sunday morning - one has to wonder how much the numbers will increase as the weather gets better. Tough situation for the locals there as well, a burden they shouldn't have to shoulder and hopefully the GoC steps up with a better plan.

What of other border areas where it's relatively easy to walk across the border into a populated area - is the lower mainland in B.C. at risk for the same thing? Quebec and New Brunswick? That's not to say it isn't easy to cross the border in Alberta or Saskatchewan but most of the border in those two provinces is quite remote? Is it even happening elsewhere?
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Old Posted Feb 20, 2017, 1:03 AM
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22 people crossed into Canada at Emerson, Manitoba between Saturday night and Sunday morning - one has to wonder how much the numbers will increase as the weather gets better. Tough situation for the locals there as well, a burden they shouldn't have to shoulder and hopefully the GoC steps up with a better plan.

What of other border areas where it's relatively easy to walk across the border into a populated area - is the lower mainland in B.C. at risk for the same thing? Quebec and New Brunswick? That's not to say it isn't easy to cross the border in Alberta or Saskatchewan but most of the border in those two provinces is quite remote? Is it even happening elsewhere?
The border along Quebec has seen a lot of crossings as well. Most likely they are choosing those areas because major cities aren't far away. The border with Ontario is virtually all water so that province won't be affected, and I think the BC border has more security on it (due to drug issues).
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  #3  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2017, 1:10 AM
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The border along Quebec has seen a lot of crossings as well. Most likely they are choosing those areas because major cities aren't far away. The border with Ontario is virtually all water so that province won't be affected, and I think the BC border has more security on it (due to drug issues).
There is the tiny spot south of Thunder Bay where the Ontario-US border runs over land.. and in the east, the St. Lawrence isn't that wide or turbulent so illegal boat crossings could become a thing. Heck, there quite a few points in the Thousand Islands area where, using the islands as rest points, most people would be capable of swimming across.
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Old Posted Feb 20, 2017, 1:46 AM
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  #5  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2017, 5:21 AM
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I think 2017 will finally be the year where many Canadian's and their "let's welcome everyone into our country because it's the right thing to do" mentality may come to an end. At the very least their patience will be pushed to the limits.

These are not refugees, folks. These are people arriving from a first world country because the leader of said country says he doesn't like them and they shouldn't be there; that does not equate to persecution. Big difference between the two. There is no such thing as refugees from the United States.
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Old Posted Feb 20, 2017, 6:43 AM
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^ Exactly right..........these are NOT refugees but simply queue-jumpers, they are braking every law in the book and they damn well know it. This is what infuriates people about our refugee system when we get bogus refugees which Ottawa will still accept to be nice.

These people 100% know that they are breaking the coutry's immigration/refugee laws and don't give a damn. IOW, their first act in Canada is to break the law. I say put them up for one night and then give them a one-way bus ticket back to Minneapolis. It is illegal for someone to cross at a border crossing from the USA to Canada or vice-versa looking for refugee status. These people clearly know this which is why they deliberately don't cross at a border crossing but rather in the middle of no where.

If this is allowed then we will get refugee claims from thousands in the US, even if born there, as people cross at a non-authorized entry level. They will be able to apply for refugee status and hence get free medical so they can get that surgery, dental work, or prescription they can't afford and quickly head back. Until the late 90s when this rule came into effect, it was actually quite common for this to happen which is why it was introduced by Canada in the first place.

A true refugee is one fleeing for their lives and once in a safe country, like the US, they should not be allowed to use it simply as a base to do refugee window shopping.
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Old Posted Feb 20, 2017, 6:45 AM
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^ Exactly right..........these are NOT refugees but simply queue-jumpers, they are braking every law in the book and they damn well know it. This is what infuriates people about our refugee system when we get bogus refugees which Ottawa will still accept to be nice.
No - Ottawa is following Canadian law. You're spouting ignorance.
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Old Posted Feb 20, 2017, 8:03 AM
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Thanks to the third country agreement and relatively refugee-friendly American governments we've never really had to worry about unauthorized migration before. We've had control over pretty much every immigrant.

Now that this is no longer true we need a strategy to figure out how to move forward from here.
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  #9  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2017, 11:42 AM
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Agreed.

Although I think that the STCA has to be amended to end irregular border crossings - they're less safe for the people crossing, less safe for border communities and the improvised nature risks eroding popular support. People should be arriving at secure ports of entry for security screening and to file their applications in an orderly way.

Then, I think we'd need to make some modest investments to reduce waits and backlogs in the application and evaluation process. That means things like more temporary housing in cities like Winnipeg, Sherbrooke and Montreal, and more judges and legal aid for fair and timely hearings. Currently, people often wait for years for a hearing, which is bad for them and bad for Canada since eventual asylees can't support themselves until they get their status, and eventual non-asylees will spend years in Canada before they're turned away. We need to get the processing time down to weeks, not years.

For those who are granted asylum, we need to insure that they have access to the training and ressources to integrate and quickly become productive members of society. That means things like more investment for things like employment training, as well as more societal links, such as sponsorship-type arrangements where people are put in contact with established Canadians to help the newcomers integrate themselves into a social circle. As has been demonstrated in the past, sponsored refugees have better outcomes and can more quickly start supporting themselves compared to government-sponsored refugees.
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  #10  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2017, 12:04 PM
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Hi all,

I'm a long time lurker who regularly drops by to glean info regarding ongoing and upcoming projects, but the recent discussions regarding refugees crossing the border, multiculturalism and the preparing for a destabilised US prompted me to join.

I realise that Canada is a party to the UN treaty on refugees and as such is bound to accept anyone with a valid claim to refugee status, but I also know that:

1) The must have a VALID claim of being persecuted or in danger - Joe from Tennessee can't claim refugee status because the government wants to jail him for selling moonshine, neither can anyone from any other country simply because they're poor.

2) Refugees must abide by the rule of law in their host country. I'm pretty sure that there are laws against crossing the US - Canada border away from official crossings as this would constitute illegal entry. Therefore, by definition this is illegal.

3) From what I've read on here, there's a "safe third country" or some such agreement in place between Canada and the US stating that our two nations consider each other's territory as safe and no-one coming from either country has a valid case to make a refugee claim in the other. Now granted, I'm not sure that this agreement does not violate the UN refugees treaty.

Anyway, it seems to me that anyone wishing to make a refugee claim in Canada should present themselves at a border crossing with their ID documents proving their identity and country of origin and we should follow our obligations. If this puts an undue stress on those coming from the US, then they should challenge the "safe third country" agreement because I'm not sure it will stand up to scrutiny.
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  #11  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2017, 12:23 PM
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Hi all,

3) From what I've read on here, there's a "safe third country" or some such agreement in place between Canada and the US stating that our two nations consider each other's territory as safe and no-one coming from either country has a valid case to make a refugee claim in the other.
Welcome!

Just a clarification RE: STCA - it only applies at ports of entry. That means border crossings, trains, planes, etc. It does not apply as soon as you're already in Canada. That's why people are crossing irregularly and then presenting themselves to the authorities - it's the only way for them to apply for asylum because if they were to present themselves to a proper border crossing, the border officials would be forced to turn them away. Ironically enough, once asylum-seekers cross irregularly just a few kms away and are picked up by the RCMP, they're taken to those very same border checkpoints for security screening.
It's a completely different situation from, say, economic migrants from Central America crossing over into the US for under-the-table work. The refugee applicants crossing the Canadian border want to get picked up by the RCMP so that they can go through security screening and start their refugee process.

It is illegal to cross the border (which is why people who do are picked up by the RCMP), but charges aren't usually pressed against people who did so to claim asylum.
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  #12  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2017, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Aylmer View Post
Welcome!

Just a clarification RE: STCA - it only applies at ports of entry. That means border crossings, trains, planes, etc. It does not apply as soon as you're already in Canada. That's why people are crossing irregularly and then presenting themselves to the authorities - it's the only way for them to apply for asylum because if they were to present themselves to a proper border crossing, the border officials would be forced to turn them away. Ironically enough, once asylum-seekers cross irregularly just a few kms away and are picked up by the RCMP, they're taken to those very same border checkpoints for security screening.
It's a completely different situation from, say, economic migrants from Central America crossing over into the US for under-the-table work. The refugee applicants crossing the Canadian border want to get picked up by the RCMP so that they can go through security screening and start their refugee process.

It is illegal to cross the border (which is why people who do are picked up by the RCMP), but charges aren't usually pressed against people who did so to claim asylum.
Agreed. I'm saying that they should not do this at all and challenge the STCA instead. I think it contravenes the UN treaty on refugees and would have to be rescinded. The current situation also technically negates the refugees claim to asylum because they have broken the law to get here - they should automatically be refused asylum for doing so.
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  #13  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2017, 2:16 PM
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Just to be clear, few if any of the refugee claimants arriving at the Canadian border from the U.S. seem to be the All-American Joe from Tennessee types who are just pissed off at Trump.

They all seem to be people from war-torn or at least dirt poor countries who were in the U.S. temporarily and perhaps without any form of landed status, and have been caught in the crosshairs of Trump's measures (or fear that they will be).

Staying in the U.S. in the medium term is not an option for them at this point and coming to Canada is not a "cosmetic" choice. It's probably between coming here or being forced to go back to Syria or Somalia.
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Old Posted Feb 20, 2017, 2:30 PM
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Just to be clear, few if any of the refugee claimants arriving at the Canadian border from the U.S. seem to be the All-American Joe from Tennessee types who are just pissed off at Trump.

They all seem to be people from war-torn or at least dirt poor countries who were in the U.S. temporarily and perhaps without any form of landed status, and have been caught in the crosshairs of Trump's measures (or fear that they will be).

Staying in the U.S. in the medium term is not an option for them at this point and coming to Canada is not a "cosmetic" choice. It's probably between coming here or being forced to go back to Syria or Somalia.
Okay, so the presumption is that the US would reject people from Syria and Somalia? I doubt that. Wait, is there still a war going on in Somalia?

As for poor people, they are NOT refugees.

I don't agree with the STCA because in my mind it clearly contravenes the UN treaty on refugees. Is the US still a safe third country if it's at war? That's meant to be funny because it's always at war. How about if war were to break out on American soil? Will the STCA be null and void suddenly in that case?

On the other hand, the STCA was enacted because the US and Canada are both pretty safe, open countries and signatories to the UN treaty on refugees. You have to be a bit suspicious of people who choose not to pursue their claim in the US because it probably indicates that their claim is not very strong to begin with.
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Old Posted Feb 20, 2017, 2:41 PM
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^ To quote myself:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aylmer View Post
I don't have the time to formulate a proper response, but in a nutshell:

1. There are very, very few refugees who are permanent residents in the USA. It's often people who have come from elsewhere to the States as refugees, but fear they will not get fair treatment.
2. Asylum-seekers don't always apply in the States. Sometimes, the only flights available go through the US, even if their destination is Canada. But even in those cases, the STCA applies.
3. The US does a lot of things really well, but giving asylum-seekers a fair shake isn't really one of them. Beyond issues of detainment or treatment, they often don't get hearings. When they do, they often don't have access to a lawyer or translation. Imagine if you had to figure out the inner workings of the Chinese legal system on the fly without translation - it might technically be a hearing, but there's no way it can be fair.

So there are entirely valid reasons why refugees might cross the border. We don't accept all of them - there's about a 45% rejection rate - but these people have a right to have that be determined at a fair hearing.
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Old Posted Feb 20, 2017, 2:52 PM
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Okay, so the presumption is that the US would reject people from Syria and Somalia? I doubt that. Wait, is there still a war going on in Somalia?

.
Well, Syria and Somalia are in the "seven countries" that have been identified by Trump. Including the revised version of the ban he put forward very recently.

It's unclear at this point what will be the permanent effects and enforcement of the ban, but if you were a Somalian or a Syrian with no determined status and currently sitting in the U.S., would you want to take the risk that you could be sent back to the war zone? Or would you try to get to Canada?
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  #17  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2017, 3:35 PM
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Well, Syria and Somalia are in the "seven countries" that have been identified by Trump. Including the revised version of the ban he put forward very recently.

It's unclear at this point what will be the permanent effects and enforcement of the ban, but if you were a Somalian or a Syrian with no determined status and currently sitting in the U.S., would you want to take the risk that you could be sent back to the war zone? Or would you try to get to Canada?
The travel ban was struck down by the courts if I recall correctly, perhaps the fact that it goes against the US' treaty obligations was one of the reasons.

Also, the fact that asylum seekers freely flaunt any and all border laws bugs me. Sounds like a recipe for benefits shopping. This is neither the wording nor intent of the UN treaty.

Look, I know that people don't just leave their homes for no reason but I don't agree that it's anyone and everyone's right to come to Canada because their own country is not doing great. If your life's in danger you cross the nearest border and get put in a refugee camp. From there, you apply to come to Canada. What's so hard to understand?
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Old Posted Feb 20, 2017, 3:39 PM
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Originally Posted by ssiguy View Post
^ Exactly right..........these are NOT refugees but simply queue-jumpers, they are braking every law in the book and they damn well know it. This is what infuriates people about our refugee system when we get bogus refugees which Ottawa will still accept to be nice.

These people 100% know that they are breaking the coutry's immigration/refugee laws and don't give a damn. IOW, their first act in Canada is to break the law. I say put them up for one night and then give them a one-way bus ticket back to Minneapolis. It is illegal for someone to cross at a border crossing from the USA to Canada or vice-versa looking for refugee status. These people clearly know this which is why they deliberately don't cross at a border crossing but rather in the middle of no where.

If this is allowed then we will get refugee claims from thousands in the US, even if born there, as people cross at a non-authorized entry level. They will be able to apply for refugee status and hence get free medical so they can get that surgery, dental work, or prescription they can't afford and quickly head back. Until the late 90s when this rule came into effect, it was actually quite common for this to happen which is why it was introduced by Canada in the first place.

A true refugee is one fleeing for their lives and once in a safe country, like the US, they should not be allowed to use it simply as a base to do refugee window shopping.
In my mind, they are illegal immigrants - no different than those who cross the Mexican border in the US. They may have already been illegally in the US, but two wrongs don't make a right...what about the legitimate refugees, immigrants and citizens?
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  #19  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2017, 3:42 PM
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In my mind, they are illegal immigrants - no different than those who cross the Mexican border in the US. They may have already been illegally in the US, but two wrongs don't make a right...what about the legitimate refugees, immigrants and citizens?
They have made a claim. The claim must be processed.
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  #20  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2017, 3:44 PM
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The travel ban was struck down by the courts if I recall correctly, perhaps the fact that it goes against the US' treaty obligations was one of the reasons.
Trump seems hell-bent on putting some type of travel ban in place that will restrict entry and "stays" in the U.S. for people from a number of countries. Time will tell if he succeeds.
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