This week I would like to provide an update to my April 25th report on the growing problem of illegal immigration.
There have been over 20,000 illegal crossings over the Canadian border from the United States to apply for refugee status in Canada.
It has been reported that an unofficial RCMP station is being constructed near the location where most of the illegal border crossing occurs and that the Liberal government has issued a tender notice to construct a temporary refugee camp also near the Canada USA border.
As to the question if these border crossings are illegal or irregular, the Prime Minister has now commented on this matter in Question Period and stated “Crossing a border between official border crossings is illegal.”
Both locally here in the Okanagan, and in Ottawa, Liberal MP's are increasingly feeling the heat from families of citizens trying to legally enter Canada, and finding more and more delays.
This heat is causing these same Liberal MP's to push back.
Apparently pointing out the growing illegal border entry problem is “stoking fears”, according to one local Liberal MP.
While in Ottawa, the Public Safety Minister has stated that “coming across the border in a way that tries to circumvent the law, or defy proper procedure is not a free ticket to Canada,"
The Liberal Government provided statistics that stated that asylum seekers must go through a rigorous process and that they estimate that more than 90% of irregular migrants do not fit the criteria and will have to leave Canada.
Unfortunately for the Liberal Government, this week a media headline came out that stated that they have used misleading statistics.
The article, using information from the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB), reported that “of the 2,552 irregular border crossers who had their claims finalized in 2017, nearly half, 1,360, were approved.”
Another problem not mentioned by the Liberal government is related to actual deportations.
The IRB data provides information on the total number of illegal entries referred to the agency, including the original country of origin.
The data is further broken down to how many claims are accepted, rejected, abandoned or withdrawn, including pending claims..
However data relating not just to deportation orders but successful deportations is missing.
The lack of successful deportations is a fundamental part of this problem.
Media sources have reported that only 1% of illegal border crossers have actually been physically deported from Canada.
To summarize this issue, we have the Liberal Government suggesting 90% of illegal border crossers will not qualify for status here in Canada, contrasted with the IRB’s own data that shows close to a 50% approval rate, while only 1% of those who are rejected have actually been deported from Canada.
While Liberal MP's can make accusations that they believe raising these concerns is “stoking fears on immigration”, I categorically reject that view.
From my perspective, supporting legal immigration to Canada is how we ensure fairness for those citizens who are making every effort to fully comply with Canadian law.
My question this week is:
Do you agree?
I can be reached at Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca or call toll free 1-800-665-8711
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Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.