Roxham Road | Children with US citizenship are among the illegal immigrants

(Ottawa) Children who hold US citizenship are among nearly 10,000 immigrants who have crossed the Canada-US border irregularly from Roxham Road since it reopened last November.

Posted at 5:00 am

Joel Dennis Belavance

Joel Dennis Belavance

Documents obtained Journalism under Access to Information Law It indicates the country of origin of the thousands of immigrants who arrived in Quebec via the famous Roxham Road near the Saint Bernard-de-Lacole border crossing.

These documents reveal that at least 137 children born in the United States and thus hold American citizenship are among 9,632 people who crossed the border irregularly between November 21, the date the road was reopened by the Trudeau government, and March 23. Thus, these documents make it possible for the first time to prove that persons with US citizenship claim refugee status.

Many of the illegal immigrants that Canadian authorities have intercepted in recent months have come from countries such as Pakistan, Colombia, Ethiopia, Haiti, Zimbabwe, Yemen, Cameroon, Congo, Chile, Sri Lanka, Rwanda, Angola, Gabon, Syria, Nicaragua and Nigeria, among others.

These documents also show that an average of 79 people per day crossed the Canada-US border during this four-month period. Over a 12-month period, this average would result in approximately 29,000 irregular migrants arriving.

However, federal authorities expect this daily rate to increase with the arrival of good weather, as it was before the COVID-19 pandemic, we warn behind the scenes.

What is the fate of minors who hold American citizenship and who accompany their parents with another nationality? Immigration Department said Journalism That the usual procedures are applied and that their requests are dealt with in the same way as other requests.

All asylum seekers have a fair hearing at the Immigration and Refugee Board, an independent quasi-judicial court. Each case is evaluated on its own merits, based on the evidence and arguments presented.

Before that, Canadian authorities conduct the necessary checks to ensure that intercepted immigrants do not pose a threat to Canada’s security and to determine if they are eligible to apply for asylum. This security check includes checks for biographical and biometric data such as fingerprints. After that, the procedure for obtaining an asylum application can be started.

The resumption of the flow of illegal immigrants on the Roxham Road is a bone of contention between Ottawa and Quebec.

The urgent need to amend the Safe Third Country Agreement

According to Conservative MP Pierre Paul Hoss, the arrival of children with US citizenship underscores the urgent need to amend the Safe Third Country Agreement between Canada and the United States.

“This is a situation that makes clear that liberals have to fix the breach in the Safe Third Country Agreement. When children born in the US to immigrant parents seek Canada, there is clearly a problem. Why haven’t the parents sought asylum in the US all these years?” asked Mr. Paul Hoss.

The Quebecoa bloc calls for the suspension of this agreement as soon as possible.

“What is certain is that the problem is not the claimants, but the government that is refusing to take over the situation. Representative Alexis Brunel Dusip, immigration critic at the Bloc Quebec, said, “We expect 35,000 people to arrive on Roxham Road this year and the prime minister remains idly by, while he can block Roxham Road. unilaterally by suspending the Safe Third Country Agreement.

Allowing women, children and families who are currently crossing through the side door to pass through an official, safe and regular entrance is a must and, moreover, it is demanded by associations defending refugees.

Alexis Brunel Ducep, immigration critic from the Quebec Bloc.

Under the Safe Third Country Agreement, only individuals who seek asylum at an official border crossing are returned to the United States. in December, Journalism I reported that Ottawa and Washington had agreed to close the breach that became Roxham Road.

Both countries are willing to amend this agreement so that Canadian authorities have the power to return an asylum seeker to the United States, regardless of whether they present themselves at an official port of entry at the Canada-US border. To submit this request or if he institutes it after crossing the border in an irregular manner.

out of priority

But before the new agreement can be implemented, Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Sean Fraser must pass relevant regulations to implement the changes. Their American counterparts should do the same. In Washington, this file is far from a priority, which delays the entry into force of the amendments.

Last month, Quebec Premier Francois Legault called on Ottawa to immediately close Roxham Road, which he said had become a “refinery”.

But his Federalist counterpart Justin Trudeau has ruled out such an option on the grounds that it would only divert the problem to another border entry point.

“If we close Roxham Road, people will go elsewhere. We have a huge border. We will not begin to arm it or fencing it,” he said. peut au moins faire des vérifications de sécurité, on peut au moins s’assurer qu’ils ne soient pas perdus à l’intérieur from Canada. »

In collaboration with William Leclerc, Journalism

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