By Madeline Weld
Ooops!! – If anyone was thinking of sneaking over the Canada-US border at Roxham Road, they just missed their chance! Roxham Road is closed as of Saturday, March 21st.
But those who would flout the law can take heart. The government says it’s only going to be temporary before Canadians again foot the bill for illegal migrants (and perhaps also pay with their health).
Maybe you haven’t heard of Roxham Road. That wouldn’t be too surprising, because the media have been disgracefully quiet about it. Roxham Road has been the entry point of over 55,000 illegal migrants since January, 2017. Accommodating and processing them is going to cost Canadian taxpayers over a billion dollars.
Their bogus claims will tie up the Immigration and Refugee Board for many years, and they will likely never be removed, even if their asylum claims are rejected in two or three years.
Roxham Road runs through a decommissioned border crossing between New York State and Quebec near the town of Lacolle. By crossing illegally and claiming refugee status, these migrants bypass the “safe third country” agreement between the US and Canada, under which asylum seekers are required to ask for asylum in the first safe country they enter. The agreement applies only to ports of entry.
The Roxham Road border hoppers (whom the government likes to call “irregular” migrants) know that their refugee claim would be rejected outright at a port of entry, that the process of legal immigration can take a long time, and that by cheating they have a pretty good chance of staying in Canada.
Roxham Road became the premier “irregular” entryway into Canada after Trudeau sent out his infamous virtue-signalling “#WelcomeToCanada” tweet following US President Trump’s executive order of January, 2017, to restrict travel from various countries for national security reason (nicknamed the “Muslim ban”). This tweet heard around the world unleashed a massive influx.
Although various remedies to close this loophole (such as declaring the entire border a port of entry) were proposed by the Conservatives and others, Trudeau’s government did nothing.
Even when it became obvious that people were flying to New York from places like Nigeria, taking a taxi to the border and then walking into Canada, the government remained intransigent. It seemed as if the RCMP were at the border mainly to help illegal migrants with their luggage.
As the inflow continued, shelters first in Montreal and later in Toronto and elsewhere became overloaded to such an extent that the “irregular” migrants were sometimes housed in hotels.
And that was before the Covid-19 pandemic. One of the big worries about Covid-19 is that it will make so many people ill, it will overburden the hospitals beyond their capacity to provide adequate care (as happened in Italy). It is to stem transmission in the early stages that we are being asked to self-isolate as much as possible, that businesses are temporarily shutting down, that schools, recreational facilities, theatres, and libraries are closing, and that many restaurants are doing take-out only.
In response to the pandemic, Trudeau announced that Canada would deny entry to everyone except Canadian citizens and permanent residents, US citizens, diplomats, and flight crews. And he was very clear that if you were a travelling Canadian, you’d better get back here fast or you might not get in.
On March 18, Trudeau announced that the US and Canada had agreed to stop all non-essential travel across the border, and did not discount the possibility of implementing the Emergencies Act to restrict travel within Canada and even to implement a countrywide lockdown. So surely he closed off Roxham Road, right?
Not a chance! Even as headlines screamed “Closing the Gates!” and Trudeau expressed his concern about the spread of the virus (he himself was in self-isolation after his wife had tested positive for it), he did nothing to keep people from streaming in at Roxham Road, as documented by Rebel News journalist Keean Bexte. The only thing that the government was going to do was to quarantine the migrants for 14 days.
After that, it seems, we were simply to believe that every one of the people who ignored the “Do Not Cross” sign at Roxham Road would take the official guidelines about self-isolation to heart should they experience any symptoms. And this, despite not knowing where they were coming from or where they had been.
We can only hope that none of the over 1000 people who have entered since January of this year (or any of those who entered before) were exposed to the virus at some large public gathering, such as this prayer meeting in Bangladesh. Of course, it would be churlish to think that anyone would illegally cross the border just to benefit from free Canadian health care as they wait for their case to be adjudicated.
Why would Trudeau so recklessly leave a gaping big hole in Canada’s safety measures in the face of the pandemic? Perhaps he hoped that those among the illegal border crossers who remain in Canada will become loyal voters for the Liberal party. This could also be why he ramped up already high levels of immigration to a stratospheric 350,000 annually with no end in sight. Perhaps Trudeau is simply implementing his vision of a post-national Canada (as he told the New York Times shortly after his election in 2015) and applying the Global Compact on Migration in his own way. (The United Nations Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration deserves a bulletin of its own as a reminder of its disastrous implications for Canada. Under conditions of a pandemic, it would more accurately be called the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration of Viruses.)
Why would the media not raise a ruckus about this situation? Why were there no headlines screaming “Dozens of Unvetted Migrants Illegally Cross at Roxham Road Each Day While Canada’s Borders are Closed”? Perhaps the obvious answer is what’s been called Trudeau’s media bailout, the provision of $600 million to select media over five years, officially called tax credits and incentives. The Global Compact urges governments to “stop allocation of public funding” to media outlets that promote “intolerance, xenophobia, racism and other forms of discrimination toward migrants…”
And nothing says racist and xenophobe like someone who questions the Liberal government’s immigration policies or its refusal to stop illegal entry into Canada at non-ports-of-entry like Roxham Road.
But – miracle of miracles – on March 20th Trudeau announced that the illegal entry point at Roxham Road would be closed. Did he finally see the light? Or was it political pressure, such as the reports from Rebel Media and a petition by Conservative MP Erin O’Toole, that finally prodded him to act?
At least one Facebook poster who calls herself Marlene Crandlemire believes that “It was Trump who closed Roxham Road at the request of Canadians.” I don’t know where Marlene got her information or if it is accurate, but if the Canada-US border reopens when the pandemic has subsided and if Trudeau again allows the illegal inflow at Roxham Road, it will be worth sending the US president a petition to please close it again!
Lord knows what we can do if there should be an open borders president in the White House.