Yesterday, I said that the Conservative approach to securing our border is the “simple solution” that Canada should follow. Today, in an article in the National Post, Andrew Coyne says that it’s not that simple, at all. He makes the very valid point that everything about Canada, beginning with its very existence as a sovereign state happens only because it is America’s best interests to have Canada occupying the Northern half of its (America’s) continent. He outlines some very practical and some very legal reasons why we need the Americans to help us on the immigration issue … they’re all good and valid points and real reasons to do nothing and just wring our hands.
But, I assert, serious hand wringing and woeful inaction because of the 1951 UN Refugee Convention and how our own laws require us to act are not enough. We must close the loopholes even if that means that, for some time, we must detain thousands and thousands of (mostly) innocent people in secure camps for no reasons except that we disagree with how they seek to find a better life for themselves.
Mr Coyne says “If we want to cut the flow of illegal border crossers, rather, we have to alter the incentives that encourage them to take this route. Right now they have every incentive to cross at irregular points, since that way they are guaranteed a hearing, in contrast to the official ports of entry, where they are turned back automatically … [thus] … What if we reversed that: enter by the lawful door, you get a hearing; enter anywhere else and you are sent back? But again, the U.S. would have to agree.” I agree the US has to agree to take them back when we expel them but even if it will not agree to that we do not have to let tens of thousands of migrants roam about at will while they wait for a an adjudication process.
We know that the waiting period for that adjudication is months, even years and we suspect that many people will simply fail to appear when called.
We will need to send fewer dollars to third world countries threatened by climate change and use hundreds of millions of those dollars, year after year after year, to hire thousands of Canadian Border Service Agency and Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers to track down and “arrest” those who are in Canada improperly and hundreds of people to secure and manage detention camps.
Some of our courts will cry foul ~ but the Constitutional rights that may need to be infringed in the name of securing our sovereignty and internal security are all subject to the dreaded notwithstanding clause; it (§33) was put there for a purpose.
The fact is that Prime Minister Trudeau has lost control of our border. It is up to him to do what he can, unilaterally, to, at least, make sure that illegal migrants are not given a practical advantage over those who enter Canada legally.
Finding the near perfect solution, which is what Mr Coyne and Team Trudeau seem to want, a solution in which almost every procedural i is dotted and almost every legal t is crossed, is a recipe to do nothing … that’s not good enough. The Government of Canada needs t do what it can, on its own, to looks after Canada‘s interests, not those of illegal migrants of Donal Trump.
Andrew Coyne says, near the end of his piece, that “More broadly, we have to close the gap between Canadian and American practices, in reality or perception, that leads people to believe it is worth fleeing north. That’s not just a matter of reminding would-be claimants that acceptance is not automatic, that they may well be deported after their hearing. So long as their chances of being accepted are materially greater in Canada, the incentive will remain … [and] … I suppose we could tighten our procedures to American designs. Or, if that’s intolerable to us, we can try to persuade the U.S. to be more liberal.“
We are not going to make the Americans more “liberal” because they are a serious country and they know that their border matters. We need to get serious, too … that almost certainly means that we need a new government, one led by a adult.