Recently Mayor Tory has been urging federal and provincial financial help as the number of refugees and asylum claimants streaming into Toronto swells. Currently an average of 400 asylum seekers are crossing into the Canada from the Quebec border alone every single day and the summer numbers could swell significantly. Quebec has made it clear that it cannot host more asylum seekers long-term and in any case most of them choose Toronto. Some of those people are being housed in hotels, but that program intended to expand the shelter system is now also at capacity.
Some 600 people are also currently being housed in college dormitories as an expansion of the system — with another 200 expected to join them and that can only happen until August 8th.
Taking care of asylum seekers is an expensive business and is expected to cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.
The problem of illegal immigration south of the border is even more acute. Even with President Trump in the White House, hundreds of men, women, children and drugs are flowing into the country. And attempts to plug loopholes which allow this situation to continue is met with howls of protests from millennials and left-leaning liberals many of whom believe there should not be borders as such.
There are growing calls in the US to dismantle ICE, (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) all they are really doing is enforcing rules and tossing out people who have entered the US illegally. Here in Canada there are loud calls urging the end of detention for illegal asylum seekers even if the authorities consider them a flight risk. Even when asylum seekers fail to meet the minimum threshold required to be considered for refugee status, it is the failed refugee claimant who activists and lawyers say should be given the benefit of doubt by default.
American liberals prefer the Catch and Release approach where border agents simply apprehend illegal immigrants, record their details and provide them with bus tickets to join their relatives and friends already in the US. Yes Uncle Sam provides free transportation to your American destination, but only if you arrive as an illegal alien.
Here in Canada things are even better for asylum seekers and refugees. We have cities like Toronto, a declared Sanctuary City which treats vulnerable Canadians the same as asylum seekers, maybe even better. We ask right-thinking homeless Canadians to make space for them in homeless shelters, college dorms and hotels serve as shelters for hundreds of asylum seekers. And if the crisis continues, expect to see some Community Centres serve as homeless shelters. This is what German cities did after Chancellor Merkel invited in close to a million refugees.
Here in Canada we have a growing chorus of protests urging the Liberals in Ottawa to end the Safe Third Country Agreement with the US which would then allow asylum seekers to come through proper entry points rather than cross illegally. In doing so, Canada could be swamped by hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers over the next few years and yet our activists and liberal-minded Canadians don’t think about the impact and consequences such decisions will have on Canadian society down the road.
In 2013, Toronto became the first city in Canada to declare itself a safe haven for people who arrive outside of legal channels.
On Jan. 31, 2017, Mayor John Tory reaffirmed Toronto’s status as a Sanctuary City, with council’s backing.
It is one thing to roll out the red carpet for refugees but treating them like newcomers who’ve come to Canada legally is quite another. It is also a political and social blunder to give Canadians the perception that you are treating those entering the country illegally even better than taxpayers.
Politicians and heads of social agencies have no qualms insisting that the government release millions of dollars to house and help asylum seekers. No one ever seems to think that it is the taxpayer indirectly funding all this moral talk about us being better than the Americans and everyone else when it comes to accepting all asylum seekers.
Like in the US, here in Canada too any politician taking a hard line on illegal immigration or economic asylum seekers is seen to be racist and anti-immigration. Liberal-minded North Americans seem to think that all people of color- refugees or immigrants are all the same.
Every asylum seeker insists that death awaits them if they are deported. Just as three percent or less of all illegal border crossers from Mexico into the US report for their court hearings, here in Canada fewer asylum seekers are ever deported and even then they have multiple ways to appeal against negative verdicts with tax-funded lawyers.
Meanwhile it is the taxpayer footing the bill for refugees and asylum seekers who are euphemistically referred to as irregular border-crossers. To question or protest or insist Canadians come first is to be a raging racist.
If Mayor John Tory pleads for more cash to help asylum seekers, perhaps he could introduce a $100 refugee tax on every home-owner’s tax bill, since all mayors of GTA like to point out how diverse and open our cities are to immigrants and refugees, they should have no problem convincing Torontonians and even Mississauga residents to pay a little extra as their share to helping asylum seekers.
On one hand Canadians complain about long wait times at hospitals, over-crowding, lack of affordable housing, high taxes and the government pleads there isn’t enough money but yet when asylum seekers show up unannounced on our borders or at airports, somehow cash and resources materialize. Many Canadians are yet to see the irony in all this. Perhaps one day we will all wake up or rise up. -CINEWS