Cus­toms ad­mits that hun­dreds have sped through

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS - Staff Stanstead

Ja­son Ken­ney, Min­is­ter of Cit­i­zen­ship, Im­mi­gra­tion and Mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism, in Stanstead last Wed­nes­day an­nounced at a last minute press con­fer­ence the des­ig­na­tion of five groups of for­eign na­tion­als as “ir­reg­u­lar ar­rivals” un­der the new pro­vi­sions in­tro­duced in the Pro­tect­ing Canada’s Im­mi­gra­tion Sys­tem Act. This des­ig­na­tion will al­low tougher mea­sures to be ap­plied to those who par­tic­i­pated in the smug­gling op­er­a­tion.

Hu­man smug­gling is a dan­ger­ous and de­spi­ca­ble crime - it puts lives at risk and threat­ens the in­tegrity of Canada’s immi- gra­tion sys­tem as well as the se­cu­rity and safety of Cana­di­ans, ac­cord­ing to the Cana­dian government. “That’s why we’ve taken ac­tion to make Canada a less at­trac­tive des­ti­na­tion for th­ese crim­i­nal ven­tures. This des­ig­na­tion sends a clear mes­sage to crim­i­nal or­ga­ni­za­tions con­tem­plat­ing hu­man smug­gling ven­tures that Canada will take strong, tar­geted ac­tion to pre­vent abuse of our gen­er­ous im­mi­gra­tion and asy­lum sys­tems.”

“Canada has one of the most gen­er­ous im­mi­gra­tion sys­tems in the world. Our doors are open to im­mi­grants to Canada who fol­low the rules and wait in line, but we have no tol­er­ance for those who abuse our gen­eros­ity or cheat the sys­tem to jump the queue,” said Min­is­ter Ken­ney. He am­pli­fied out­side of his writ­ten re­marks that, in Canada, im­mi­grants and refugee seek­ers have im­me­di­ate ac­cess to wel­fare and health care, the only coun­try on the face of the planet to do so. “This may ex­plain why the big­gest grow­ing group of claimants is from Europe, even though they have twen­ty­seven other coun­tries to be ad­mit­ted to close by.”

But a new prob­lem is the use of or­ga­nized, crim­i­nal smug­gling rings that can ar­range for Ro­ma­ni­ans, the bulk of the il­le­gal crossers in the last few months, to come from Europe to Mex­ico, al­legedly cross over to the USA il­le­gally and then wait to be ‘ar­rested’ in Canada to claim refugee sta­tus. It should be noted that if the Cana­dian pre­ten­tions are right, that hun­dreds of Ro­ma­ni­ans were able to cross over il­le­gally, then this is the most or­ga­nized gang in the USA, Bor­der pa­trols re­port­ing no ar­rests of Ro­ma­ni­ans be­fore the end of Novem­ber of this year at the Mex­i­can bor­der.

The night be­fore the press con­fer­ence, po­lice in On­tario ar­rested forty per­sons and were look­ing for about the same num­ber of il­le­gal Ro­ma­ni­ans in the Toronto re­gion.

“To­day, we are send­ing a strong mes­sage to those who are think­ing of us­ing the ser­vices of crim­i­nal hu­man smug­glers to sneak their way into Canada: Don’t do it.”

Since Jan­uary 1st, 282 il­le­gal en­tries have been re­ported in Stanstead, 157 Ro­ma­nian na­tion­als be­ing in­volved. It should be noted that th­ese num­bers are for in­di­vid­u­als who were ap­pre­hended or de­clared them­selves to au­thor­i­ties.

The Min­is­ter re­fused to ad­mit that most, if not all, of the Ro­ma­ni­ans were in fact Ro­mas, declar­ing straight-faced that the government doesn’t keep track of ‘na­tion­al­i­ties’

Photo Stanstead Jour­nal

Min­is­ter Ja­son Ken­ney with Bor­der of­fi­cials.

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