Scheer of­fers rea­son­able so­lu­tion for bor­der woes

Edmonton Sun - - COMMENT -

you wouldn’t know it from what most me­dia and politi­cians are say­ing, but the il­le­gal bor­der cross­ing phe­nom­e­non at Rox­ham Rd. con­tin­ues.

The lat­est monthly data from the fed­eral govern­ment re­veals that 1,712 peo­ple claimed asy­lum through en­ter­ing il­le­gally at the bor­der of Que­bec and New york state.

This year, the num­ber is now at just over 10,000 peo­ple. It’s slightly down from its peak in the pre­vi­ous cou­ple of years, but sig­nif­i­cantly higher than the norm.

It used to be that few peo­ple en­tered Canada this way, so much so that the feds didn’t need to re­lease monthly stats. Now, it’s be­come a new nor­mal.

It shouldn’t be that way. Canada is wel­com­ing to eco­nomic im­mi­grants as well as refugees. But peo­ple must come to Canada be­cause we’ve vet­ted them and in­vited them. They don’t come on their own terms, which is what is hap­pen­ing on Rox­ham.

Con­ser­va­tive leader An­drew Scheer in­vited me­dia to the in­fa­mous bor­der cross­ing Wed­nes­day morn­ing to of­fer a rea­son­able so­lu­tion to help re­duce these numbers.

He wants to send Im­mi­gra­tion and Refugee Board judges to the hotspot to speed up the claims process. This is key. If bo­gus asy­lum claimants are turned back promptly, then word will get out that there is lit­tle ad­van­tage to cross­ing into Canada. But if they’re al­lowed to en­ter the coun­try, put down roots and re­ceive govern­ment as­sis­tance, it’s only an in­cen­tive for more to come.

Scheer also an­nounced the hir­ing of 250 more Canada Bor­der Ser­vices Agency of­fi­cers. This is some­thing the union has re­quested for awhile.

This is a good idea, but the pub­lic will want to see them en­forc­ing the law, not just act­ing as bell­hops.

Scheer says he wants to rene­go­ti­ate the Safe Third Coun­try Agree­ment with the united States. Al­though it is un­clear how he’ll ac­com­plish that if the u.s. doesn’t want to do it.

dur­ing the press con­fer­ence, Scheer ref­er­enced the threat of MS-13 gang mem­bers cross­ing into Canada.

last May, Sun colum­nist Joe Warm­ing­ton re­ported how po­lice forces across Canada were put on alert about the po­ten­tial ar­rival of MS-13 gang mem­bers through hu­man traf­fick­ing cor­ri­dors such as Rox­ham.

Whether it’s for mat­ters of fairness or pub­lic safety, we need a so­lu­tion to this prob­lem.

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