Beyaks’ at­tempts to use dis­torted res­i­den­tial school nar­ra­tive to prop up free speech ar­gu­ments is dangerous

U.S. re­scinds pro­tec­tion of Sal­vado­ran mi­grants — and now it’s time to re­think our agree­ment with the U.S.

Metro Canada (Toronto) - - Front Page - VICKY MOCHAMA ON SAL­VADO­RAN REFUGEES Vicky Mochama is Metro’s na­tional colum­nist. She ap­pears ev­ery Monday, Wed­nes­day and Thurs­day.

Ten days from now will mark the one-year an­niver­sary of the in­au­gu­ra­tion of the 45th Amer­i­can pres­i­dent. It has been a whirl­wind year that has up­set global norms and cre­ated an at­mos­phere of chaos.

“From this mo­ment on,” promised the pres­i­dent be­fore a thin crowd, “it’s go­ing to be America First.”

On Monday, his ad­min­is­tra­tion re­scinded Tem­po­rary Pro­tected Sta­tus (TPS) for an es­ti­mated 260,000 Sal­vado­rans. Since an earth­quake in 2001, some peo­ple from El Sal­vador have been able to gain the pro­tec­tion of the TPS pro­gram, an emer­gency-re­sponse that grants work visas and res­i­dency sta­tus.

In end­ing the pro­gram, pro­tectees are given 18 months to es­sen­tially leave the United States.

If the sce­nario sounds fa­mil­iar, that is be­cause in Novem­ber the Amer­i­cans also put an end to the TPS pro­gram for 59,000 Haitians. Five hun­dred Su­danese and 2,500 Nicaraguan peo­ple have been sim­i­larly noti ied.

In addition to the much-lit­i­gated and now-o icial Mus­lim ban as well as the pro­posal to “build a wall” at the U.s.mex­ico bor­der, that ad­min­is­tra­tion’s hos­til­ity to mi­grants is less a mat­ter of con­jec­ture, but, rather, a fact.

And yet, Canada’s re­sponse has been de­cid­edly lack­lus­tre.

While the previous Con­ser­va­tive gov­ern­ment was aware of a mas­sive back­log at the Im­mi­gra­tion and Refugee Board, it is this gov­ern­ment that has yet to fully re­spond.

A spokesper­son from Im­mi­gra­tion, Refugees and Ci­ti­zen­ship Canada said by email that the gov­ern­ment has de­vel­oped a con­tin­gency plan draw­ing on lessons from 2017 that in­cludes mo­bile units and more com­mu­nity out­reach in the U.S. to TPS-A ected com­mu­ni­ties.

In a state­ment re­leased Monday, Op­po­si­tion im­mi­gra­tion critic Michelle Rem­pel called on the Trudeau gov­ern­ment to re-open ne­go­ti­a­tions with the Amer­i­can ad­min­is­tra­tion over the Safe Third Coun­try agree­ment, es­pe­cially with re­gard to the sec­tion that al­lows peo­ple cross­ing ir­reg­u­larly to make their claims once they’ve ar­rived.

I spoke to Rem­pel Tues­day, who said: “Cana­dian o icials have been telling the Cana­dian gov­ern­ment for months that as Trump is re­scind­ing the TPS sta­tus for di er­ent groups that it will likely have an im­pact on our im­mi­gra­tion sys­tem. To me it’s just re­ally bizarre that [rene­go­ti­at­ing the agree­ment] hasn’t even come up as a topic.”

Refugee ad­vo­cates have long held that the ul­ti­mate re­sponse to Amer­i­can anti-mi­grant sen­ti­ments is to with­draw wholly from the Safe Third Coun­try Agree­ment. I main­tain there is a cred­i­ble argument that the United States is in­deed not safe for a va­ri­ety of mi­grants.

Nei­ther Ms. Rem­pel nor the gov­ern­ment agree with that as­sess­ment. How­ever, we ought to agree that the sys­tem at present is sim­ply not it. Even if Tps-pro­tected ap­pli­cants want to come to Canada with­out claim­ing asy­lum, they face back­logs in al­most ev­ery mi­grant class.

“This Amer­i­can carnage stops right here and stops right now,” said the newly in­au­gu­rated pres­i­dent al­most one year ago.

Yet the carnage con­tin­ues and Canada still isn’t quite ready.

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