By: Graham Lane
Published: Winnipeg Sun, March 3, 2017
Donald Trump’s first and loudest campaign promise was to build a wall and clamp down on 500,000 of illegal immigrants flooding into America every year from Mexico – another 1 million cross the border legally. Prior to the campaign, then-Secretary Clinton also talked about tougher border protection, touting building a fence. Neither said a word about the Canadian border.
The USA has 11-14 million illegal immigrants, Canada only 75,000. America’s illegal workers represent 5% of their work force, impacting on wage rates in manufacturing and service jobs. Canada’s illegals represent only 0.4% of our work force, having no discernible affect on wage rates.
One huge difference is that illegal workers in Canada cannot source CPP and EI, whereas USA illegals can pay in but not access similar benefits. The Canadian Government won’t accept payroll remittances for those without SIN Numbers (or false ones), the US Government accepts payments even for those with false Social Security Numbers. Those contributions flow into the US government’s coffers, never to be paid out (billions of dollars every year- a huge cash grab by the US Government).
Illegal US workers are in a panic and are looking for solutions. Most look to legal options to remain within the USA. But, as deportations rise and construction of “The Wall” starts, many will look to Canada rather than accepting being returned to their home country.
Canada’s system was developed to deal with up to 10,000 illegal border crossings a year – and is funded on that basis. The annual number of illegals fell from once over 20,000 per year due to the Canada – US Safe Third Country Agreement. It requires asylum seekers to make refugee claims in the country they first arrive in. One loophole in the agreement is that those who cross illegally, away from border stations, are considered to have made their claim from within Canada and are not subject to the treaty.
Our government must now wake up to the new realities brought by a Donald Trump Presidency, and understand how it will affect our borders. US Border Patrols will do nothing to stop the flow of illegals into Canada – there is suspicion that some US agents act as tour guides, providing illegals direction and instruction.
Canada takes pride on its fairness – particularly as it relates to the selection of refugees and immigrants. But, we have seen those walking-in illegally at Emerson rise from 50 or so per year to likely over 1,000 this year – perhaps much more. For all of Canada, we will see the number across Canada escalate to levels never seen before. It is not unthinkable that walk-ins could reach 100,000.
So far, there has been no government response, except to do nothing. Warmer weather, the start of the construction of “The Wall”, and more US deportation orders will create an emergency for Canada.
Our government needs to decide: do we want to protect our system of fairness and equality in the selection of immigrants and refugees? Or, do we prefer at any cost to be perceived as a country of compassion and continue to let in a growing wave of illegal migrants (most of which having already applied for refugee status in the USA)?
Graham Lane leads Manitoba Forward (manitobaforward.ca).
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