Canada has started to see a major influx of illegal immigration from Mexico since the beginning of 2017. The Canada Border Services Agency has detained more Mexicans in the first few months of this year than the total of 2016.
In December, the CBSA lifted its visa requirement for Mexican citizens. This means Mexicans only need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA,) which is easy to obtain. However, they can’t work without a work permit.
This lift, along with President Donald Trump’s stricter immigration policies, has made Canada more appealing to Mexicans.
“The CBSA said it detained 444 Mexican nationals between Jan. 1 and March 8, compared with 410 for all of 2016, 351 for 2015, and 399 for 2014,” writes Reuters. “The CBSA can detain foreign nationals if it is believed they pose a danger to the public, if their identity is unclear or if they are deemed unlikely to appear for removal or for a proceeding.”
Even with the spike in illegal immigration, Canada doesn’t seem like it’s going to tighten border controls anytime soon.
“We are concerned and we will deal properly with the extra hundreds,” said Canada’s Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale at a news conference Saturday. “But the full border deals with 400,000 people moving in both directions every day. It also handles (more than $1 trillion) in trade every day.”
He also said that “the current accelerated rate started in the first week of February.[W]e’ve been following this very, very closely.”
Again, this timing is not a consequence. This is a few weeks after Trump took office.
Not to mention applying for refugee status is much easier in Canada– so many of these Mexican migrants are making refugee claims when arriving in country.
“The process to apply for refugee status is considerably quicker than the process in the United States. Anyone caught trying to cross the Canadian border can apply for refugee status. The applicant will then receive a date to appear before a refugee tribunal, which by law cannot be more than two months away. In the meantime, there is no need to wait in a detention center – unlike in the United States – and anyone put in detention has the right to see a judge within 24 hours,” writes the Christian Science Monitor.
Then 60% of the immigrants who appear before the tribunal are given asylum
Many Canadian citizens are disappointed in Canada’s failing immigration system.
According to a recent poll by Reuter/Ipsos, almost half (48%) of Canadian citizens are in favor of “increasing the deportation of people living in Canada illegally.”
“A large minority of the Canadians asked about these immigrants said the illegal border crossers are making their country “less safe,” writes The Daily Caller. “Other Canadians told Reuters it’s one thing to welcome immigrants who come legally, but another matter when they decide to put themselves at the front of the line and enter illegally.”
Although nearly half of the country wants a crackdown on illegal immigration, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seems to be in denial about the country’s immigration issue.
“One of the reasons why Canada remains an open country is Canadians trust our immigration system and the integrity of our borders and the help we provide people who are looking for safety,” said Trudeau, as reported by Reuters. “We will continue to strike that balance between a rigorous system and accepting people who need help.”