EDITORIAL: Close down Roxham Road

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Why is Prime Minister Justin Trudeau still inviting illegal immigration into Canada at Roxham Road? It needs to stop.

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The Quebec-New York state entry point is not an official crossing. But what began as a dirt path that a few scofflaws used to sneak into the country morphed into a full blown operation under the Trudeau government.

It’s a sight to behold: RCMP officers on hand, vehicles and physical structures in place – all for an illegal border crossing. The federal cops aren’t there to turn people away. They’re there to play welcome wagon, as per Trudeau’s orders.

This is happening because of a technicality that says that, while it’s illegal, once you’ve illegally crossed into Canada you can claim asylum and then stay until your claim is heard.

Canadians are compassionate people who believe in taking asylum seekers and refugees. But this process just makes a mockery of the system and is an insult to all of the refugees and immigrants who arrived in Canada through proper channels.

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On Wednesday, Quebec Premier Francois Legault called on Trudeau to close the crossing. He said the province doesn’t have the capacity to care for the thousands of asylum seekers as they await hearings.

Trudeau refused to budge. “If we close Roxham Road, people will cross elsewhere,” Trudeau told reporters. “We have an enormous border, and we’re not going to start arming or putting fences on it.”

This is disingenuous politics. For starters, it’s fair to say that putting up a fence as opposed to friendly RCMP officers helping you across would certainly deter a few people.

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But, more importantly, the data does not support Trudeau’s comments.

A decision was made in March 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic, that anyone attempting to cross at Roxham Road would be sent back. The number of illegal crossers then drastically dropped from around a thousand a month at the time (although in 2017 one record month saw 5,500 crossers) to just a handful.

This continued until November 2021, when the numbers emerged after the crossing was reopened. The latest tally – March of this year – shows 2,492 people crossed illegally at Roxham Road that month.

This proves that if Trudeau wanted to put an end to it, he could. Why isn’t he? I should.

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