This column originally appeared in the Toronto Sun
While accusing the opposition of fear-mongering about illegal immigration, top Trudeau government officials have stepped up their own fear-mongering campaign against the opposition.
The 2019 federal election may be nine months away, but the campaign has already begun. The latest comes from Trudeau’s immigration minister Ahmed Hussen, who accused the Conservative Party of wanting to “militarize the border.”
Last week, Conservative MP and immigration critic Michelle Rempel held a news conference where she called on the government to study the issue of how Canada screens and vets migrants who illegally cross into Canada. Rempel’s proposal was mild, and well within reason.
Canada is experiencing an unprecedented and ongoing surge in illegal border crossings, which has been accompanied by stories of alleged terrorists and migrants with national security red flags slipping into Canada.
Rempel noted in her news conference that the Conservatives have been asking for a review of Canada’s immigration screening policy since the border crisis escalated in 2017.
Responding to Rempel’s proposal, Hussen dismissed the Tory position on immigration and bizarrely seemed to invent a new position for them.
“I haven’t seen anything from the Conservatives. They don’t have a plan,” said Hussen, before quickly changing his tune. “Do you know what their plan is? To militarize the border and place a CBSA official or RCMP official every 100 metres,” said Hussen.
In the same breath, Hussen claimed both that the Conservatives didn’t have a plan and that their plan includes militarizing the border.
Of course, there is no evidence that the Conservatives — or any sane person for that matter — has ever called for officials to be stationed every hundred meters along the border.
The shared Canada-U.S. border, after all, spans 8,891 kilometres. With border officials ever 100 metres — ten per kilometer — that would mean staffing the border with about 90,000 border stations, and asking our American neighbours to do the same.
If the mainstream media bothered to fact-check Liberal politicians like they do the opposition, Hussen’s wild allegation would surely fail the test.
In reality, the problem is mostly contained to one small section of the border.
In 2018, 19,419 migrants illegally entered Canada in between official ports of entry, 18,518 of them crossed into Quebec. This is in line with the Trudeau government’s claim that 95% of all illegal crossings occur along Roxham Road.
The problem does not span Canada’s nearly 9,000-kilometre border. It’s isolated to a very small location — making it much easier to tackle.
Canada could drastically reduce the flow of illegal migration by taking a simple step: closing the border at Roxham Road and stopping migrants from crossing there. Instead, the Trudeau government has done the opposite.
First, they built a land bridge so migrants wouldn’t have to walk through a ditch.
Second, they permanently stationed RCMP officers at this unofficial crossing point (which is less than five kilometres from the official crossing at Champlain, NY) to register incoming migrants.
Third, they set up makeshift refugee camps so that asylum seekers could start their paperwork and quickly become eligible for government handouts.
Finally, they began shuttling migrants to Montreal or Toronto — their choice — and setting them up in government-funded housing.
Not only has the Liberal government helped to facilitate illegal immigration, they’re normalizing it and thereby encouraging more of it.
Perhaps that is where Minister Hussen is coming from. When you believe in open borders, everything else begins to look like “militarization.”
Candice Malcolm is the Founder of the True North