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RCO





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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:12 am    Post subject: Canada's Sanctuary city fad is courting chaos Reply with quote

( an interesting column from Howard Anglin )


Canada's 'sanctuary city' fad is courting chaos

iPolitics Insights

High immigration levels only work if Canadians believe someone is in charge


Howard Anglin



Thursday, March 23rd, 2017


This is Howard Anglin’s third iPolitics article in a series on Canadian immigration policy. His first, on why Kellie Leitch is both wrong and right when it comes to immigration and integration, can be found here. His second, on how we should approach the problem of irregular border crossings by refugee claimants from the United States, can be found here.

As a former federal minister of Immigration, Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre knows that the American phenomenon of so-called ‘sanctuary cities’ is not a response to a surfeit of refugee claims in that country. It’s a reply to the quite different problem of illegal immigration.

That, of course, that hasn’t stopped him from using the recent increase in irregular border crossings by would-be refugees as an excuse to join the latest municipal fad and declare Montreal a “sanctuary city.” As a response to the recent refugee influx, it’s an empty gesture – another of the opportunistic stunts that he can’t seem to resist – but it could have real consequences down the road if Canada becomes the target of a different cohort of migrants. Call it a looming ‘non-refugee’ crisis — one for which we are totally unprepared.

First, some facts about the current refugee problem. Coderre’s public confusion of the matter notwithstanding, a refugee claimant’s progress through our refugee determination system does not intersect meaningfully with municipal policies. When putative refugees enter Canada, legally or illegally, and present themselves to the RCMP or the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), we know how to deal with them. Federal and provincial programs provide them immediately with a work permit, access to generous federally-funded health care and dental benefits, and settlement services to help them find shelter and work.

If, after a hearing with the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB), a claimant is accepted as a refugee, he immediately receives protected status with a pathway to citizenship. If he is rejected, he can appeal and seek a judicial review of that decision, receiving federal and provincial benefits right up until the point of a final, non-reviewable decision, after which he must leave Canada. Under the division of powers in Constitution Act, 1867, immigration is a shared responsibility of the Dominion government and the provinces, so all this happens irrespective of municipal policy.

So far, so good. But what if someone never bothers to make an asylum claim? What if a migrant crosses the border and, instead of presenting himself to the authorities, he just keeps moving on to Toronto or Montreal, where he meets up with others from his home country and avails himself of their informal networks to get the help that the federal Department of Immigration and provincial agencies provide to refugee claimants? That’s a very different problem and a real threat – one that no one is talking about, but which should preoccupy our federal, provincial and municipal governments.

There are several reasons why illegal migrants might not bother entering the refugee system, but the obvious one is that they aren’t refugees. Why would economic migrants who know their lives are not in danger back in Mexico or El Salvador or Guatemala go through the charade of pretending to be refugees and risk the likelihood that their claims will be rejected and they will be ordered to return home? Much easier just to keep their heads down, find a job under the table in construction or the food service industry, and live outside the law. This is what between ten and fifteen million of them have done in the United States for decades.

Unlike the case of refugee claimants — even of those who later abscond or fail to show up for their hearing, as many do — we would have no official record of illegal migrants’ entry to Canada or their continuing presence. A significant increase in our illegal population would be detected first by anecdote and only later confirmed by the sudden and notable presence of, say, a lot more Spanish speakers in our major cities.

With an immigration system that assumes people entering our country will voluntarily contact our authorities, either up-front as legal visitors or shortly after an illegal entry to make an asylum claim, we are unprepared for the consequences when that assumption ceases to be valid. We would be like a gardener who has installed deer-proof fences, only to see a flock of birds descend on his vegetable patch.

That is when the consequences of being a “sanctuary city” will be felt, along with an increased burden on provincial and municipal resources as illegal migrants begin to compete with legal residents and taxpayers for access to hospitals, schools and other public resources. While Coderre has encouraged Canadians to connect his new sanctuary policy to recent refugee flows, sanctuary cities are not designed to protect vulnerable refugees – our federal refugee system does that, as described above. They’re designed to shield knowingly illegal economic migrants (including, yes, failed refugee claimants) from the consequences of their illegal presence.

Seen in that light, Coderre’s conspicuous compassion is a lot less sympathetic. In fact, given his timing, it serves a function almost the exact opposite of the one that sanctuary cities fulfil in the United States.

The sanctuary city movement in the United States was motivated by a desire to prevent the deportation by federal officials of millions of illegal migrants who had lived for many years without status. These illegal migrants had worked in the underground economy, building lives and raising families, often with the tacit encouragement of cities and states that passed laws to provide them access to public services like schools, health care, banks and driver’s licenses.

open quote 761b1bAn orderly immigration system is a popular immigration system. Where a people believe that their government has lost control over immigration, they will quite naturally resent the invasion of foreigners whose loyalty to the national ‘we’ is unproven and whose commitment to integration is unknown.

The idea motivating American sanctuary cities was that, even if the illegal immigrants broke the law in coming to Los Angeles or San Francisco or wherever in the first place, after so many years they were now part of the community and to remove them would be more disruptive to the cities’ communities and economies than to let them stay. Whatever one thinks of sanctuary city policies, they were an imperfect response to a serious pre-existing problem.

In Canada, by contrast, the idea is being invoked pre-emptively — which is to say, incoherently. By labelling themselves ‘sanctuary cities’ even before large illegal populations arrive, Coderre and his municipal counterparts seem determined to invite the very problem that American cities felt they had no choice but to respond to with ‘sanctuary’ measures. In a race to ape their progressive role-models to the south (if Brockway, Ogdenville and North Haverbrook have a monorail, then by golly Montreal will too!), Canadian mayors have turned the idea of sanctuary on its head — not to address an existing problem but at the risk of creating a new one.

Is there any reason to think that Canada could become a new target of illegal migration? If President Donald Trump follows through on his campaign promise to not just stop future illegal immigration but to enforce existing immigration and employment laws, drying up the demand for their work, it is reasonable to think that many Mexicans, Central Americans and the increasing number of illegal overstays from Asia and Africa would consider Canada more attractive than the countries they left to find better-paying work. And while many Canadians think of illegal immigration as a phenomenon of the America southwest, over the last two decades there has been a significant increase in the illegal populations of cities with climates much closer to Canada’s like Seattle, Chicago and Boston.

According to the Pew Hispanic Center, in 2014 more than 1.5 million illegal migrants lived in states bordering Canada, and the trip from New York State to Montreal or from Washington State to Vancouver is much shorter (and more potentially lucrative) than the trek back across the Rio Grande. Now that the Trudeau government has lifted the visa requirement for Mexican citizens (against the advice of the public servants at Immigration Canada), we can also expect to see many more visa overstays.

Right on cue, as predicted by those public servants, the CBC reported this week that the CBSA has already detained more Mexican migrants in the first two months of 2017 than in all of 2016. The 444 Mexicans detained so far this year is not only more than the 410 detained last year, it’s already two-thirds of the record 667 detained in 2012. Even if the rate does not increase with the coming of spring, we are on pace to quadruple that number.

Illegal migrants are crucial to the Mexican economy. In 2015, according to the Mexican Central Bank, money sent home by Mexicans was the top source of foreign income for the country. At almost $25 billion, remittances surpassed both oil sales ($19 billion) and tourism ($17 billion). This explains why the Mexican government bristles at talk of reversing illegal migration flows, and would not be averse to encouraging its citizens facing removal from the United States to seek work in Canada.

If illegal migrants in the United States or their home governments notice the invitation issued by Denis Coderre and other Canadian mayors, Canada could see its current illegal population swell dramatically.

Ex-pop singer and Congressman Sonny Bono was once asked what he thought about illegal immigration. “This may sound incredibly simple,” he replied, “but what strikes me as funny is when something is illegal, it’s illegal. Enforce the law.” His common-sense cut to the heart of the matter. Lawbreaking is itself a problem and our response must be either to enforce the law or change it.

If Canada needs unskilled Mexican and Central American workers (a dubious proposition in an economy where the already-diminishing number of low-skilled jobs are being lost to automation), it should establish an immigration program to select the best, screen them for criminality and language ability, and bring them here legally. Until we do, the federal government should enforce the law, and cities have no business obstructing their work.

Beyond the intrinsic problem of tolerating open illegality, Canadians who like our current high level of legal immigration should be especially concerned about the potential of increased illegal migration to change fundamentally how our country thinks about all immigration. (This also goes, perforce, for the fringe 8 per cent of Canadians who, according to the federal government’s own polling, want to raise annual immigration levels.)

Canadians are not genetically predisposed to be more welcoming than other people, nor is there something magical in our soil that stimulates social cohesion. The main reason Canadians have a broadly positive view of legal immigration is that most of us believe that the economic benefits of our selective immigration system outweigh the costs, both financial and social. They believe this because they trust that the federal government is in control of who comes to Canada and that most those who come here were chosen based on objective factors that make them likely to work and integrate, including their English and French language ability, education, skills and work experience.

Even if the net economic benefits of immigration are less clear than our politicians’ rhetoric would have it and the long-term effects of multiculturalism are uncertain, Canadians have so far been sufficiently mollified by what they have been told as well as by what they see around them to accept not only high overall levels of immigration but also generous levels of non-economic migration, including refugees and elderly parents and grandparents.

The lesson to be drawn from the Canadian experience is that an orderly immigration system is a popular immigration system. By contrast, where a people believe that their government has lost control over immigration, they will quite naturally resent the invasion of foreigners whose loyalty to the national “we” is unproven and whose commitment to integration is unknown.

Until recently, Canada’s geographic isolation has spared us the migrant problems that have beset other developed countries. Bordered on two sides by wide oceans and on the others by the frozen Arctic and an absorbent ally, Canada has enjoyed the rare privilege of being able to pick and choose who we invite to come to our country. But with an American administration newly solicitous of its sovereignty, and with migration flows from the countries of the global south set to grow along with the projected explosion of their populations this century, our renowned openness may soon be put to the test.

open quote 761b1bThe moment Coderre’s antinomian emoting threatens to undermine the rule of law and fray the bonds of our social solidarity is the moment the grown-ups must step in and restore order.

A country’s loss of immigration control can be the result of external pressures — as we see in parts of Europe where overwhelmed countries have not been able to keep out or expel hundreds of thousands of African and Middle-Eastern migrants — or of naïve domestic policies, as we see in Sweden and other parts of Europe where the mass resettlement of refugees into homogenous native populations has been well-intentioned but ill-considered. In still other cases, external circumstances and domestic policies have combined to undermine faith in the system. That has been experience of the United States, where mass illegal migration was driven by the push factor of failed narco-states on its southern border and simultaneously encouraged by the pull-factor of half-hearted enforcement of immigration and employment laws.

We saw glimpses of what a similar breakdown would look like in Canada when the Sun Sea and the Ocean Lady showed up off the coast of British Columbia carrying hundreds of smuggled Sri Lankans. Canadians instinctively recoiled at the alien presence of uninvited and unscreened migrants, and a clear majority of the population wanted the government to tow the vessels back out to sea rather than land their passengers — which the government eventually did, despite knowing most would never be returned home. We may be seeing a recurrence of that sentiment again in reaction to the irregular border crossings in Manitoba and Quebec. If those crossings increase in the spring and summer, we will see a lot more of it.

If the most important difference between a welcoming country and a suspicious or hostile country is whether it has a controlled or an uncontrolled immigration system, then sanctuary cities that reward illegality are a threat to both our orderly immigration system and the national consensus that supports it.

What can Canada do to counter this risk? Border control, while important, will never be a complete solution. The United States has so far proved ineffectual at policing its Mexican border, even with much more resources than our CBSA would ever be able to deploy. The focus must, instead, be on making Canada a less attractive destination for illegal migrants — and this starts with addressing the main reason why they would come here in the first place: work and social benefits.

The federal government should enforce regulations introduced by the Harper government to target employers in suspect sectors — auditing work sites, imposing heavy fines where illegal workers are found, and denying scofflaw employers access to legal immigration streams as a punishment. Thorough enforcement of existing labour and employment laws would eliminate much of the underground economy that draws illegal migrants. The United States failed at this in part because successive Democratic and Republican governments caved to the interests of business donors desirous of cheap and unregulated labour. Here, where federal politicians cannot be so easily bought, our government’s resolve to enforce the law and uphold the Canadian value of playing by the rules should not be so compromised.

The federal government also should move quickly to end our practice of granting citizenship to anyone who happens to be born in Canada, regardless of their parents’ status. While most other developed countries have ended the anachronistic policy of “birthright” citizenship, Canada still retains it.

It doesn’t matter whether you are here on holiday, on a temporary work or study exchange, or in flagrant violation of the law: If you happen to give birth in Canada, your child is entitled to Canadian citizenship, even if you return home immediately after and the child never lives in Canada again. As a result, overseas birth tourism from China has become a niche industry in British Columbia and Ontario. If we continue to award citizenship without regard to legal status, it will act both as a magnet for illegal migrants and an anchor preventing their easy removal, just as it has in the United States.

An active debate over whether birthright citizenship is required by the United States Constitution has prevented Congress from changing the law there, leaving them (and us) as international outliers. There are no such barriers to changing Canadian law, and a parliamentary committee that studied the issue in 1994 actually recommended doing so, in a report titled “Canadian Citizenship: A Sense of Belonging.” The current federal government should pick up where the Chrétien government left off and restrict automatic birthright citizenship to cases where at least one of the parents is a legal permanent resident or a Canadian citizen, as Australia and the United Kingdom have done in recent decades.

Finally, if federal and provincial governments do detect an increase in illegal migration, their indulgence of our mayors’ sanctuary city posturing must end. The moment Coderre’s antinomian emoting threatens to undermine the rule of law and fray the bonds of our social solidarity is the moment the grown-ups must step in and restore order.

Cities, unlike provinces, have no inherent sovereign power. Their very existence, as well as their internal governance, is a grant from provincial governments and can be overridden by provincial legislatures. And if the provinces won’t act to defend the rule of law, then the federal government has levers it can use to encourage them to do so.

Ideally, the federal government would act before the problem is on – and over – our doorstep. Yes, it is possible that the threat of increased illegal migration will never materialize, and for Canada’s sake, we should hope it doesn’t. But we should not assume that our relative immunity from illegal migration will last for ever. Factors beyond our control, and especially in the United States, are aligning to increase the risk that the problems currently testing that country will spread to ours.

As a response to the recent surge in refugee claims, Denis Coderre’s “sanctuary city” resolution may just be faddish foolishness, but the signal it sends to a larger population of potential illegal migrants invites a much bigger problem. It is simple prudence to do what we can now to prepare for and prevent it.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by all iPolitics columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of iPolitics.

http://ipolitics.ca/2017/03/23.....ng-chaos/#
Bugs





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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The idea of 'sanctuary cities' is crazy, right off the hop. It creates an island within a nation where the law doesn't apply as it normally does. As if law enforcement is a local option. It seems to condone lawlessness, and even take a morally superior tone because of it.

People should have the good sense to understand that this is an absurd idea.
RCO





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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the difference between US sanctuary cities and Canadian Sanctuary cities , is places like Los Angeles and San Francisco already had large population of so called illegal immigrants and the designation was more a way to allow them to continue living there without trouble


the Canadian cities don't have an existing population of illegals or at least not to the extent the US does , it comes across as more there actually encouraging people to illegally cross the border and once here are offering them sanctuary

it seems less about solving an existing problem and more about trying to welcome illegal immigrants to move into these cities from other places
RCO





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PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Toronto’s ‘sanctuary city’ policy is dangerous


First posted: Saturday, March 25, 2017 07:43 PM EDT | Updated: Saturday, March 25, 2017 07:47 PM EDT



sanctuary
Mayor John Tory and city councillors recently reaffirmed Toronto as a Sanctuary City. (CRAIG ROBERTSON, Toronto Sun)


Of all the bizarre ideas Toronto council gets into its head, putting pressure on Toronto police not to report illegal migrants to federal immigration authorities is one of the dumbest.

It’s reckless. It’s irresponsible. It’s potentially dangerous.

One of the most important methods of insuring public safety is that municipal, provincial and federal authorities co-operate with one another to protect Canadians.

If Toronto police — as council wants — stop co-operating with federal authorities on immigration issues, what makes them think the reverse won’t happen, that federal authorities won’t co-operate with them?

All of this madness stems from Toronto’s so-called “sanctuary city” policy passed in 2013, which instructs city staff not to report illegal migrants to federal authorities if they become aware of their status.

This so-called “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy also requires them to provide city services to illegal migrants, meaning all property taxpayers are picking up the costs.

“Don’t ask, don’t tell” is a bad enough policy when it applies to municipal civil servants.

But when council tries to impose the “don’t tell” aspect of this policy on the police — who are already told not to ask people about their immigration status — it’s utter political insanity.

Police Chief Mark Saunders has already pointed out these realities to council.

At last week’s meeting of the Toronto police services board, the issue was deferred, which simply means it’s all going to rear its head again in a couple of months.

It’s estimated there are anywhere from 200,000 to 500,000 illegal migrants in Canada — most of them undocumented workers — and that half of them are in Toronto, where many work in the construction and hospitality industries.

Included in those numbers are 44,000 failed refugee claimants, whom the Canada Border Services Agency has lost track of after they failed to comply with removal orders.

Most of these people aren’t violent criminals or terrorists, but some are. Some are war criminals.

Removing them from Canada is the responsibility of the federal government and to do it properly, there has to be co-operation with municipal police forces.

This is what council is trying to disrupt because it’s bought into the absurd idea from refugee advocates that the Toronto police shouldn’t be helping the feds do their “dirty work”.

When did enforcing the law become “dirty work”?

Is it “dirty work” when city council demands people obey the law by paying their taxes, or get a building permit before building or renovating a home?

What city council is really doing through its sanctuary city policy is encouraging disrespect for all laws.

If Toronto police are going to turn a blind eye to immigration fraud, then why not to tax fraud or child pornography as well?

This is the insane place to where the city’s “sanctuary city” policy leads when you apply it to the police.

http://www.torontosun.com/2017.....-dangerous
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Canada's Sanctuary city fad is courting chaos

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