National Post

Border refugee crisis all about importing new voting blocs

- Julie taub and david b. Harris Immigratio­n lawyer Julie Taub is a former member of the Immigratio­n and Refugee Board. David B. Harris is a lawyer and director of the intelligen­ce program, INSIGNIS Strategic Research Inc.

As the National Post recently reported, 20,000 people have illegally penetrated Canada’s border since early 2017, the vast majority into Quebec, where 400 are expected each day over the course of the warm-weather months. “For the first time, there are more people illegally seeking asylum in Canada than making legal refugee claims,” said the Post, and the trend will continue. This helped double over-all refugee-claimant numbers from 18,644 a little over a year ago to 48,974 last month.

Ottawa claims to be exerting itself to staunch the costly flow. But instead of being deported, illegal entrants generally seem to be welcomed by Ottawa — witness prime ministeria­l tweets and government intimation­s about bringing in even more refugee claimants.

To understand why this and other such distortion­s are allowed to happen is to comprehend the shambles of Canada’s immigratio­n system and the possible corruption underlying that system.

Start with the case of the illegal migrants entering from the U.S., and how they cost taxpayers big. Each asylum seeker costs Canadians between $15,000 to $20,000. Although they are not legally considered genuine refugees until so designated after a formal hearing process, seekers get a social assistance package similar to Canadian citizens’ own entitlemen­ts. In various forms, benefits include medical care, children’s dental and eye care, prescripti­on-drug care, and housing — and legal aid support. The 20,000 recent illegal-crossers will cost Canadians between $300-400 million. Add to that, tax-funded immigratio­n reviews and appeals, and possibly years of socialwelf­are support during the process.

As a result of this influx, some legal entrants’ hearings have been cancelled to make way for illegal arrivals’ claims. At the same time, Ottawa fast-tracks work permits and health care for many thousands of refugee claimants, including the 20,000 illegal entrants. This, in effect, rewards illegal migration.

What explains the irrational decision-making, which, according to Canada Border Services Agency Union leader Jean-Pierre Fortin, has left Canada with a “Swiss cheese” border? Why wouldn’t a debt- and unemployme­nt-burdened government block the flow from the U.S. by creating temporary Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) offices at known illegal border entry points? Or, as Fortin has urged, set up a 300-member team to plug border gaps? The CBSA is critically underfunde­d, and understaff­ed with outdated technology, and cannot even perform its regular duties, let alone this unpreceden­ted crisis breach of our borders.

Ottawa’s “solution”? Send RCMP officers without specific immigratio­n jurisdicti­on to the border, to become, in effect, a “glorified taxi service” — as one official privately put it — to inland CBSA offices, to make asylum claims. Taxpayers’ money appears unlimited for illegal migration, but sparse for CBSA.

Why is Canada pursuing this kind of policy? Sad to say, the evidence speaks for itself. Unless we posit unpreceden­ted levels of government chaos, we are forced to a harsh conclusion.

Aided and abetted by similarly inclined municipal and provincial politician­s, official Ottawa’s averting of its gaze from border breaching, is only one facet of a much larger political impulse. The impulse? To import, through legal and perhaps illegal immigratio­n and refugee intakes, large numbers of future, grateful prospectiv­e voting blocs, contrary to Canadians’ national interest.

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