Read the first part of Candice Malcolm’s deep dive into Canada’s immigration system here.

There are four driving factors behind this unprecedented surge in what can be considered illegal immigration. 

First, the Prime Minister’s messaging. 

In 2017, on the same day US President Donald Trump announced an executive order restricting travel from seven countries known as state-sponsors of terrorism (a policy often dubbed  “the Muslim ban”), Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sent out a totally different message. 

“To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada,” Trudeau wrote in January of 2017.

According to records obtained from bureaucrats inside the immigration department, Trudeau’s tweet created a frenzy at embassies, consulates and immigration offices around the world, as many interpreted this statement as a literal invitation. 

Trudeau invited the world’s wannabe refugees to come to Canada, and hundreds of thousands heeded his call. This contributed to the tripling of asylum claims in that calendar year, and the earth-shattering figures we are experiencing today. 

Second, the decision to abandon the visa requirement for Mexican nationals. 

Mexicans are the number one source country of illegal migration and asylum claims. In 2023, 23,875 Mexican nationals overstayed their visas and made eventual refugee claims – a record high. 

There is an easy way to fix this policy – a tool that was previously introduced by Stephen Harper’s government in 2009: a visa requirement. 

A visa simply requires that Mexican visitors submit some basic paperwork prior to visiting Canada, proving that their stay will be temporary and that they have purchased a return flight home.

As a Canadian who has travelled extensively around the world, I have been required to obtain special visas to many countries I have visited, including places like Brazil, Russia, India, Vietnam and China. 

In 2016, the federal government eliminated the visa requirement for Mexicans – and the result has been as predicted: a precipitous surge in asylum claims from Mexicans. They come to Canada pretending to be tourists, and they never leave. 

Third, eliminating important rules meant to limit other streams of immigration that can potentially be misused. 

Over the past several years, Canada has seen an explosion of temporary workers and students coming to Canada. As I recently reported, the number of international students has tripled in the last decade (from 301,545 in 2013, to a cap of 900,000 in 2023) and likewise the number of temporary foreign workers has jumped from roughly 500,000 in 2013 to about 700,000 in 2021 (the most recently figure available). 

Removing the safeguards and allowing these types of immigration streams to balloon leaves ample opportunity for fraud and abuse. Once a migrant is legally inside Canada, they can easily apply for refugee status – guaranteeing them gold-plated government entitlements like the billion-dollar-per-year Interim Federal Health Program that provides better care than that received by Canadians. 

And fourth, finally, the bureaucracy’s focus on reducing its backlog for visitor visas rather than prioritizing the safety and security of Canadians. 

According to a report in the Globe and Mail in October 2023: 

Asylum claims jump at Canadian airports after Ottawa eases some visitor visa requirements

Earlier this year, Ottawa waived some eligibility requirements for visitor visa applicants – in particular, those individuals no longer have to prove they have sufficient funds to stay in Canada or demonstrate they will leave the country when their visas expire. The policy went into effect on Feb. 28 and lasts through the end of 2023.

What was the reason for eliminating this important safeguard to protect Canada’s immigration system from fake-tourists who plan to stay in Canada indefinitely? According to a memo from IRCC, the bureaucrats wanted to eliminate a backlog of applications to reduce complaints from foreign nationals who live in foreign countries. From the same Globe and Mail report:

The IRCC memo, which dates to December, said waiving eligibility requirements would apply to roughly 450,000 TRV applications in the system.

The document said the stockpile of applications was “eroding the public’s trust” in the department and its ability to manage migration. Hopeful immigrants and visitors often complain that it can take years for the government to render a decision on their files.

The bureaucrats are more concerned with quelling the concerns of “hopeful immigrants and visitors” rather than protecting the integrity of our system. 

These four factors together led to 143,000 illegal migrants entering Canada and pleading for asylum. 

It’s clear the system is broken. It’s clear that Canada needs a total overhaul, a total redesign of our system – from top to bottom. The only question that remains is who will have the political courage to take on this thorny issue?