The other day I mentioned that border security is the responsibility of a competent department of government and I believe that, broadly and generally, our government does take good care of that issue.
But, now, according to a report in the Globe and Mail, US President Donald Trump may complicate and simplify their lives. An executive “order will block visas being issued to anyone from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, said the [presidential] aides and experts, who asked not to be identified.“
We share a continent with the United States and the free flow of goods, services and people across our shared border is a matter of vital importance to Canada. The Government of Canada should, in the interests of helping our American neighbours to secure their homeland, which many believe to be at high risk, immediately suspend visas for anyone and everyone from the same countries.
This is not, primarily, a security issues, although I suspect that security service officials suspect that at least several potential threats snuck into Canada in 2015-16 masquerading as Syrian refugees. It is, in the main, and economic issue ~ preserving our “open border,” and a confidence building issue. We, Canadians, have taken, generally, a fairly “liberal” approach to border security: giving the benefit of the doubt to most people from most places until or unless there is some proof that our “open” border is being abused ~ as with refugee applications from Mexico, a few years ago, for example. But politics, especially, securing the “ethnic vote,” rather than security, itself, has too often been the determining factor in border security issues.
My sense is that President Trump watches how people, including (perhaps especially) foreign leaders, react to his words and deeds and that he, then, forms opinions and even makes decisions based, in some part, on those reactions. I think that he would react favourably to a move, by Canada, to support his temporary visa ban.
What will it cost us? Some goodwill from those seven countries that have been targeted and, more broadly, from the Arab League and Groupe Afrique in the United Nations and it might put our beloved temporary, second class seat on the UN Security Council at risk, but that may be more difficult, anyway, as we appear to be reconsidering just how deeply we should commit to UN peacekeeping missions in light of American views on our priorities.