For many Americans, the issue of illegal immigration is a particularly pronounced one, with numerous voters being of the opinion that more must be done to secure our nation’s borders, deport criminal aliens and prevent illegals from performing jobs for wages that undermine American workers’.
In light of executive orders signed by President Trump and increased action by the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE), reports have been circulating that some illegal immigrants have been seeking refuge in Canada as a way to escape implementation efforts aimed at accomplishing the president’s goals.
At the same time, according to a new Reuters opinion poll, almost half of Canadians would like to see immigrants who illegally cross the Canadian border from the U.S. deported, and a similar number disapprove of the way Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is dealing with the matter.
At least four out of 10 respondents to the Reuters survey say that the illegal border crossers make Canada a “less safe” place, underscoring a new political reality for the Trudeau government. Asylum-seekers from the Middle East and Africa flowing from the U.S. into its northern neighbor are especially increasing, and even though there’s traditionally been bi-partisan support for legal immigration into Canada, illegals are a different issue. Supporters on the left desire more asylum-seekers to be admitted, while critics on the right say migrants represent an unacceptable security risk.
Political parties in Canada have been quick to seize on results of the poll, showing that levels of concern are similar to those in the United States. The exact share of respondents favoring increased “deportation of people living in Canada illegally” was listed at 48 percent. The same percentage of respondents said the proper response was for Canada to “send migrants back to the U.S.,” while 36 percent of respondents said Canada should “accept these migrants.”
Roughly 46 percent of respondents disagreed with how the Trudeau administration was handling the situation, while 37 percent agreed with its response and 17 percent were unsure. Support for deportation was highest among people with higher incomes who were older and male.
In January, a different poll showed at least 23 percent of Canadians said that immigration control was one of the top national issues, up from roughly 17 percent in December. It also showed that 59 percent of Canadians approved of Justin Trudeau as their Prime Minister, while 41 percent disapproved of him.
The same week the more recent poll was taken, a similar survey in the U.S. found 50 percent support for Donald Trump’s policy of “increasing the deportation of illegal immigrants.”
Many illegals interviewed by Reuters while in Canada said they had applied for asylum in the U.S., but felt unsafe there due to President Trump’s immigration crackdown, so they decided to flee north.
In Canada’s Conservative Party, top leadership contenders Kellie Leitch and Kevin O’Leary pointed to the Reuters polls and said conservatives were right for demanding the Trudeau government deter border crossings.
Greg Janzen, the leader of a border municipality in Manitoba, said, “There are so many people in the world who want to come in and go through the right channels. That’s what’s pissing most people off; these guys are jumping the border.”
Janet Dench, the executive director of the Canadian Council for Refugees, stated, “Refugees are much more welcomed when we have gone and selected them ourselves as a country, as opposed to refugees who have chosen us.”
On the left, the progressive New Democrats said the poll was proof that Canadians want asylum seekers to come across the border legally, and thus, Canada should suspend its agreement with the U.S. that mandates Canada turn back refugees if they attempt to make asylum claims at border crossings.
Brian Lee Crowley, the head of the MacDonald-Laurier Institute think tank, said the numbers of illegal immigrants flowing northward could spike as the weather gets warmer. Stated Crowley, “If people become convinced there’s a large uncontrolled flow of illegal immigrants, I think that will be a very serious political issue for the [Canadian] government.”
For 2017, Canada set an immigration target of 300,000 people, or almost 1 percent of its population. It reduced its target for resettled refugees from 44,800 in 2016 to 25,000 — the same number of Syrian refugees it took in last year.
For its part, the Canadian government denies it’s being lax about the issue; a spokesman for Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said that slipping across the border “is not a ‘free’ ticket to Canada” and that all asylum seekers are arrested immediately. “If they’re found to be inadmissible without a valid claim, deportation procedures are begun,” he said. Those who pose a public danger, are a flight risk or cannot be identified are typically detained.
~ Conservative Zone