Canada to stop ‘bashing’ illegal border crossings

Written by Staff Writer Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board has decided to stop turning away asylum-seekers who attempt to cross illegally between official border crossings on the US-Canada border, the Liberal government said Friday….

Canada to stop 'bashing' illegal border crossings

Written by Staff Writer

Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board has decided to stop turning away asylum-seekers who attempt to cross illegally between official border crossings on the US-Canada border, the Liberal government said Friday.

New Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said the policy that had been in place for the past two years would be reviewed. The United States president had criticized the policy last month.

“Citizens of Canada seek to reach our country legally or illegally in order to seek asylum,” Hussen said in a statement. “Covid-19 policy should not restrict people to an illegal pathway toward Canada or delay them in applying for asylum.

“The United States has a broken asylum system and we’re doing our part to ensure that people who come to our country legitimately and in safety are treated fairly.”

Trump “bashed” Canada

The Canadian government had said previously it had no intention of reversing the decision to block crossers.

“I believe President Trump has been a very well-nuanced and assertive voice on the need for people to be treated fairly,” Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a CNN interview.

“In the United States, people are not being processed properly. They are not being given fast access to what we think should be fair, open and effective hearings,” she said.

Trump slammed Canada’s move last month during a visit to Louisiana to ask that the country take in more immigrants.

“Canada has a much tougher immigration policy than we do. They’re taking in people that we want, and we don’t want, and they are really taking advantage of us,” he said.

US and Mexico border politics

The policy change comes ahead of a meeting next week between Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto in Ottawa.

A senior Mexican government official said last month that the Mexico-Canada meeting would be the first time the two countries have met with the Trump administration since the election.

Trudeau and his wife joined Trump and other world leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last month.

Trudeau said at the time that Canada and the US have a long history of working well together.

“We understand our neighbors at the border will always be our closest partners, and will always have differences, and we will always work together to ensure that those differences are respected.”

Canada at risk of losing migrant, refugee program, former employer says

In 2015, more than 11,000 people crossed the border between official border crossings between 2014 and 2016, according to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada figures.

One of the people to cross was Ali Hajji, a Somali refugee who told CNN he crossed at Roxham Road between Port Royal, Quebec, and Champlain, New York.

After crossing, Hajji said he spent a couple of nights in an apartment with eight other refugees. He got a bus for Montreal the next day and went to church for a two-hour service.

Hajji’s previous employers at the Illinois Transit Authority (ITQ) testified in a Toronto courtroom that they had given him two free bus passes to Canada.

“There is no denying that in 2015, Canada was becoming a destination for refugees, and this is happening largely because of the pressure from the US,” Elizabeth Inglis, Hajji’s attorney, told CNN in November.

“The truth is the ITQ did not ask the contractor for Mr. Hajji to cross to Canada. In fact, the ITQ did not authorize him to enter Canada. ITQ’s foreign policy is focused on the inclusion of the many workers of the ITQ, not the exclusion of the few, and that is just one of the many things that have changed in the ITQ’s workplace.”

The-CNN-Wire

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