Borders

Two things caught my eye:

  • A report in The Times  that says that “Britain will introduce curbs on EU migrants straight after Brexit to force all but the most highly skilled workers to leave after two years under draft Home Office plans leaked yesterday … [and] … Europeans without a job would be blocked from staying for more than a few months after March 2019, when Britain exits the EU, according to an 81-page blueprint for Britain’s future immigration system. Those arriving for longer than six months may be required to register for residence cards, including fingerprinting, it says … [further] … British business will be encouraged in the longer term to “meet their needs from resident labour”, forcing them to complete an “economic needs test” before hiring from abroad, the document suggests” and
  • The Globe and Mail reports that “U.S. President Donald Trump is eliminating protections for 800,000 unauthorized immigrants brought to the country as children, a highly controversial move that will deepen America’s fault lines over immigration and return the issue to the forefront of the nation’s politics.

Meanwhile, here in Canada, once again Yannik Lemay, known as Ygreckdrawing the Le Journal de Montréal, gets it about right …

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… the Trudeau regime remains in campaign mode but being “not Donald Trump” has replaced “not Stephen Harper” as the meme of choice.

Peoples, including Europeans and Asians, Americans and Canadians, are afraid ~ 2ff0e86b00000578-0-image-m-4_1467873691006anti-immigration-rally-in-singapore-1361045204-5795socially and economically ~ of the impact of unrestrained immigration on their personal lives: on their job prospects, on their communities, and so on. Most are not racist, nor are they even anti-immigrant; they simply understand that while controlled, planned immigration is good for every society, unrestrained migration can have disastrous consequences; they want their government to be generous to refugees ~ but that doesn’t mean letting them settle just anywhere; they want new doctors and nurses and engineers and accountants ~ but they want them to be screened before they arrive; in short they want their borders to work; governments, including Justin Trudeau’s, need to listen and understand.

refugee_child_drowned_460Remember this picture, from 2015? The political response from the CPC was calculated and based, I am sure, on good policy advice, but it sounded, to many (most?) Canadians ~ most of whom were horrified and wanted “someone” to “do something” ~ as cold and cruel: exactly opposite of the general public will. The Liberals, on the other hand, pounced on the issue ~ knowing that the Conservatives had fumbled it ~ and made a generous promise of real help. The Liberal promise was weak, even bad public policy but it was great politics and I think it persuaded many, many voters, who were tired of Stephen Harper but suspicious of Justin Trudeau’s abilities, that Team accomodationTrudeau was worth their support. That, some warmth and generosity of spirit, was the “Real Change” many Canadian wanted. What they did not want was “tent city” mini-refugee camps filled with illegal Haitian migrants. How many of the “800,000 unauthorized immigrants” in the USA who will soon find their status changed will head for Canada? How will the Trudeau regime respond? What happens when, not if, we forget the good feelings that this sort of thing engendered?

canadian-border-arrest-vpr-masterson-20170215_wide-47c92ac84a104521751eef9883524dd1d090aa9e-s400-c85.jpg

How long will it take until it is replaced by this?

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Does anyone really think Canadians are, in some magical way, immune to the anxieties and fears that are sweeping the rest of the world?

I suspect our government does not and is worried because there are reports that Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen has launched a scheme to try to persuade potential migrants in the USA and ethnic communities in Canada “in an effort to set the record straight about Canada’s immigration policies and counter any notion that entering Screenshot 2017-09-06 12.05.47irregularly is a free ticket into the country.” That’s a step, perhaps even in the right direction, but Team Trudeau in unwilling to rescind the prime minister’s “Canadians will welcome you” tweet which, many feel, might have encouraged the current (and future) wave of illegal migrants. My guess is that Liberal polling tells them that Canadians do not welcome illegal migrants in 2017, if they ever did.

toronto_immigrationCanadians, I believe, want their borders to work for Canada. Canada cannot have any useful immigration or refugee policy if it cannot or will not control its own borders.

Canadian, I think, are a generous people and want to helpthe poorest of the poor ~ many, many of whom are trapped (and have been for generations) in refugee camps in Africa and the the Middle East.

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Canadians, I suspect, do not see a contradiction between their self-interest in having secure, working borders and immigration and refugee policies that serve Canada, first, and being generous, too. They expect political leaders to manage both, at the same time.

The Liberal Party of Canada knows all that, but they have also seen that having Justin Trudeau positioned as the “anti-Trump” is great for his political image, and that creates a dilemma: do they (the Liberals’ campaign machine AKA the PMO) do what Canadians want and need or do they do what works best for Justin Trudeau in 2019? I believe the answer is obvious.

My question is: can Conservatives also understand what Canadians want (generosity of spirit) and balance it with what Canadians need (secure borders that work and an immigration policy that serves Canadians’ interests)? Conservatives need to do more than just harp and holler at Prime Minister Trudeau: they need to make concrete proposals for border security, for an immigration system and for dealing with refugees that makes sense to Canadians ~ that satisfied their selfish interests, allays their fears and meets their desire to be fair and generous.

 

 

3 thoughts on “Borders”

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