The Roxham Road border crossing is suddenly back in the news. And that’s causing Canadians to reconsider the issue.
The biggest voice on the file is Quebec Premier Francois Legault, who has spoken out over the past few weeks by calling on the federal government to close a makeshift checkpoint on the Quebec-New York border. I came.
So far, most of the migrants crossing what was once just a patch of grass where two country roads meet are headed for the cities of Quebec. But absorbing so many immigrants who arrive on their own schedules is proving difficult for the state and local resources that typically serve asylum seekers.
Legault even went around the Canadian government and directly asked the US government to amend the Safe Third Country Agreement. The agreement has loopholes that allow people passing through such places to legally claim asylum in Canada.
But one of his other demands was met: that the federal government do more to disperse these immigrants to other cities across the country. only raised concerns about
Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati is the latest politician to speak out about the strain the immigrant influx is placing on his community. “People here are limited in what they can handle. We he’s a community of less than 100,000 people and we have thousands of people living in our community,” he said. .
The federal government has announced to the media that it has sent 3,000 people from Quebec to Niagara Falls between June 2022 and February 2023. Hotel rooms, formerly rented out to tourists visiting the popular destination town, now house asylum seekers.
Here, governors of southern border states sent asylum seekers to places like New York City and Martha’s Vineyard to give people a sense of how resource-intensive such influxes could be cared for. Sometimes you can see echoes of what happened in America recently.
The Wroxham Road issue first came to the fore in 2017. Few people trekked across the unofficial border before that year, according to government statistics. But things changed when Donald Trump was elected president and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a famous social post on his media that everyone is welcome in Canada.
The number of people crossing the site skyrocketed, hovering between 15,000 and 20,000 for several years. Prime Minister Trudeau appeared to accept the status quo when the Conservative Party opposed it. By the political reckoning, the liberals had no problem letting the opposition continue to discuss something that appeared to be anti-immigration.
Then COVID-19 hit and the semi-formalized Wroxham Road crossing at the RCMP processing facility on hand was closed.
But once pandemic restrictions were lifted, the crossing came to life. Last year he hit just under 40,000. This year, he’s 4,875 in January (February figures not yet available), suggesting he’s on track to beat that record.
At the intersection of Roxham Road, it’s not who the people are, where they come from, or even how many are crossing. That’s how they are crossed. Immigration is considered to be a highly regulated matter in which governments set acceptance targets to allow people to enter at a time and place chosen by the government. This is one reason why Canada’s immigration system has been considered so successful and respected as a model for other countries to imitate.
But Roxham Road turns everything upside down by allowing people to come when and where they want. Instead of being able to prepare for their arrival, we are rushing to keep up with the unpredictable numbers.
Canadians, especially GTA members, ask a lot of questions about whether poor infrastructure is good enough for the size of the community. Healthcare and transport infrastructure are increasingly stretched to their limits.
When politicians like Legault and Diodati appeal for better management of Roxham Road based on public service concerns, this resonates with all Canadians.
Views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Epoch Times.