Saturday, February 11, 2017

Border Hoppers


When you live near the border of a country ruled by a mad dictator, hell bent on oppressing minorities to curry favor with his supporters, you get used to people fleeing across the border. Folks in Canada near the US borer are bracing themselves as the number of such "border hoppers" has increased dramatically with the onset of The Tangerine Shitgibbon.
The morning before Mr. Yussuf arrived with another Somali last Sunday night, 19 other Africans had emerged on the Canadian side of the border, cold and hungry after walking much of the night across frozen farm fields. There were too many to fit into the small border office for processing, so the people of the town rushed to open the community hall, where the new arrivals could get warm, doze on sleeping mats and refuel on Nutella sandwiches, tea and coffee.

Noting a worrying trend, Emerson officials convened an emergency meeting on Thursday with the police and border agents to figure out a protocol for the next wave of arrivals — which they feared would be soon.

“The farmers are worried about what they’re going to find when the snow melts,” said Greg Janzen, the reeve, or chief elected executive, of the Emerson-Franklin municipality.

Over the past couple of years, a small number of people have been sneaking across the border at Manitoba from the United States and then filing for asylum, Canadian Border Service Agency statistics show. But since the fall, refugee workers in Winnipeg say, there has been a noticeable surge.

The Manitoba Interfaith Immigration Council, known locally as Welcome Place, typically serves 50 to 60 asylum seekers per year, said its executive director, Rita Chahal. “Since April, we’ve seen already 300,” she said.

While the government of Canada was unable to provide statistics on the number of people seeking refugee status who illegally enter the country, Sgt. Harold Pfleiderer of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said “there has been an increase in illegal migration in Quebec, Manitoba and British Columbia, with the largest increase being seen in Quebec.”

A loophole in the rules covering asylum seekers has led some to walk for as long as eight hours in the middle of the night, through wintry landscapes and biting prairie cold, before arriving in Emerson. While an agreement between Canada and the United States makes it impossible for them to simply present themselves at the border and claim asylum, those who make it into the country and then present themselves to border guards can do so.

Now, in light of the uncertainty and disruption created by President Trump’s executive order on immigration, refugee advocates and human rights groups in Canada are demanding that the government led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau suspend or cancel the refugee pact, which is known as the Safe Third Country agreement.

“We are essentially encouraging people to come across the border through irregular means,” said Sean Rehaag, a York University law professor who specializes in refugee and immigration law.

On Wednesday, the immigration and refugee clinical program at Harvard Law School issued a report stating that Mr. Trump’s executive orders on immigration made the United States “not a safe country of asylum” for people fleeing persecution and violence.

“When Canada sends someone back to the U.S., we are saying we have confidence the U.S. is going to protect them if they need protection. We don’t see how we can have confidence to say that in the current context,” said Janet Dench, executive director of the Canadian Council For Refugees, a nonprofit umbrella organization of 170 refugee advocacy groups.
Congratulations to The Tangerine Shitgibbon. He has brought the United States down to the level of Somalia, North Korea And Saudi Arabia as a country it is not safe to return refugees to. And in only 3 weeks!

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