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How Canada Stemmed its Mexican Refugee Problem

by
Posted on May 26 2010 8:00 pm
Christine Williams is a 9-time international award-winning interviewer. She is Host and Producer of the Canadian National TV program “On the Front Line with Christine Williams” aired on CTS TV. She is also a Senior Advisor to the Hudson Institute in New York.

The Conservative government of Canada opted for a tough approach last year to halt the surge of Mexicans entering in and then claiming refugee status. It imposed visas on visiting Mexicans. Mexicans were constituting the largest stream of refugees flowing into the country, not surprising given their desperation to escape.

A Pew Research Survey conducted last fall showed that one third of all Mexicans would immigrate to the U.S., even illegally, undeterred by the economic downturn.  Although numbers can’t compare to those of the U.S., an influx of Mexicans was also entering Canada.

Like in America, critics were angry over the Conservative Government’s decision to deal with this issue.  Ottawa was even accused of sparking a trade war since Mexico belongs to NAFTA.  The Mexican government was angry and threatened unspecified retaliation but none followed.  Now a year later after Canada nipped the problem in the bud, it has now unveiled a special visa program for Mexican business travelers.   First the muscle, now the mending.

“Canada and Mexico are among each other’s largest trading partners,” added Peter Van Loan, minister of international trade, in the release. This program will help Canadian and Mexican companies do business together and continue to fuel our economic recovery.”Reuters

What Canada demonstrated was a proactive and decisive strategy to end this predicament before it spiraled out of control.

Now that the Mexican illegal immigration  problem has completely gone amok in America, many States have wisely tried to take control of the reins by mimicking the controversial Arizona Bill. Rhode Island is one, but House Speaker Gordon Fox decided to kill the bill.

Like in Arizona, the bill caused an uproar with accusations about racial profiling.  So Gordon Fox’s spokesman Larry Berman decided to sidestep the issue:

The floor demonstration and an upcoming State House rally by Rhode Islanders for Immigration Law Enforcement and Rhode Island Tea Party “had nothing to do” with Fox’s decision not to take up the bill, said Fox spokesman Larry Berman.

“This is a bill that came in very late and we’re ready to wrap up our session and we want to focus on the budget and economic issues and adjourn within a few weeks,” said Berman.CNN

Strange explanation given that illegal immigration impacts the economy, plus crime rates, obviously recognized by Rhode Island State Representative Peter Palumbo–a maverick Democrat:

We have something like 40,000 plus in Rhode Island right now.”

At the heart of his state’s immigration problem, Palumbo said, is state funds spent on illegal residents.

“We spend a ton of money on housing, conservation, law enforcement, hospital care — all the different areas you would take care of an immigrant, we would spend on illegal aliens,” he said. “If you subtract the illegals from that equation, then we don’t have a budget deficit.”CNN

As several states persist in their efforts to enact similar laws to stem the flow of illegal immigration, they continue to be met with resistance.  Canada clamped the problem before it became tumultuous like in America.  The longer the Obama Adminisrtation continues to waver on this issue, the heftier the price Americans will have to pay.  Imagining the toll is a daunting thought.

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