Canadian Immigration Officials Need U.S. Co-Operation to Help Prevent Illegal Immigration
Since the summer surge of asylum seekers crossing at unofficial borders, the Canadian government has sought to deter further crossings.
The government spoke out to dispel myths appearing online about easy or guaranteed refugee status. A Haitian-Canadian Member of Parliament went so far as to visit Miami to address rumours spreading amongst the Haitian community.
While the number of asylum seekers crossing illegally has decreased significantly since August, the concern persists that more may be on their way, especially with US President Donald Trump in power. So, Canada is looking to the U.S. for help to curb more border crossers from entering Canada. For more information about Canada’s immigration policies and asylum claims process, contact a Canadian immigration lawyer.
Concern Over Border-Crossing Trends
Canada’s Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale recently asked the US to look into US-issued travel visas used for the sole purpose of getting to Canada’s border. Goodale discussed Canada’s concerns with acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke at a recent G-7 Summit of Interior Ministers.
The Canadian government has found a trend in border crossers with travel documents issued from some US embassies and consulates. These asylum seekers obtain travel visas with no intent to stay in the US. Instead, they travel directly to Canada’s border.
Goodale wants the US to look at the trend in embassy-issued visas, with a focus on why they were issued. This is especially important since these visa holders don’t plan to stay in the US.
Canada Kept in the Loop Re: US Immigration Policy?
Goodale also asked acting Secretary Duke and the U.S. to notify Canada of immigration policy changes that directly affect Canadian immigration and borders. The recent cancellation of temporary protected status for Haitians affected by the 2010 earthquake in Haiti is a chief example of policy changing affecting Canada. Following Trump’s cancellation of this protected status, thousands of Haitians living in the U.S. fled to Canada’s border. This caused a surge in asylum seekers crossing into Quebec this summer.
If the U.S. plans to cancel more immigration policies, like the temporary protected status, then Canada will see another wave of asylum seekers crossing at unofficial borders. And while giving Canadian immigration officials advanced notice can help them prepare for a surge in border crossers, it doesn’t address the underlying policies that are driving the surge in the first place. As such, additional improvements to US immigration policies are needed to address this issue on both sides of the border.