Closing Roxham Road won’t stop irregular migrants coming to Canada: Trudeau

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says simply closing the Wroxham Road border crossing in Quebec will lead to a surge in irregular checkpoints elsewhere in Canada.

He made the comments Wednesday to reporters in Richmond Hill, Ontario, as the opposition and the Quebec government called for the immediate closure of the crosswalk due to the increasing influx of immigrants entering the country irregularly.

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Trudeau said the only way to “effectively” close the intersection on the Quebec-New York border was to renegotiate a safe third country agreement with the United States.

“The only way to effectively close the entire border to these irregular intersections, not just Wroxham Road, is to renegotiate safe third country agreements. It’s serious work,” he said.

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“We are making real progress, but until we do, we must continue to support the immigration system. We have significantly increased our acceptance of , and will continue to support the province of Quebec.”

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Atlantic province offers to help Quebec with Wroxham Road asylum seekers

Conservative Party leader Pierre Polivre on Tuesday called on the federal government to close the Wroxham Road border crossing within 30 days. Poirivre accused Trudeau of facilitating irregular crossings on Wroxham Road and failing to deal with outstanding asylum claims for the surge in immigration.

The Conservative leader also said Prime Minister Trudeau had already demonstrated that Wroxham Road could be closed during the COVID-19 pandemic without violating the Safe Third Country Agreement with the United States, urging the government to encouraged to do so. Meanwhile, the entire Canadian-US border was closed.

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The Safe Third Country Agreement requires asylum seekers arriving in Canada or the United States to apply in the country of their first arrival and prohibits them from applying in a country other than their first country of arrival. However, civil servant cross-border immigrants, already on Canadian soil, can apply for asylum after being detained by the police.

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Quebec urges Ottawa to slow flow of asylum seekers on Wroxham Road

Prime Minister Trudeau said “simple solutions” would not adequately address the problem.

“If Pierre Polivre wants to build a wall on Wroxham Road, someone can do it. We would choose to cross elsewhere,” he said.

“People can throw out simple solutions, and that is their right. must do.”

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Poirivre’s comments came as Quebec Premier François Legault this week called on Trudeau to renegotiate the deal, making crossing the Wroxham Road a top priority when he meets with U.S. President Joe Biden next month. issued.

He reportedly told Trudeau in a letter on Sunday that the renegotiated treaty should apply to all points of entry because the treaty drove asylum seekers to Wroxham Road.

Tuesday, Globe and Mail English letter issued by Legault In it, he said the number of asylum seekers entering Quebec was “exploding”, pushing Quebec’s social services to their limits. It was marketed to other states as well.

The open letter did not include Legault’s letter to Trudeau, including concerns that the influx of immigrants was threatening Montreal’s French language, and a request for more money to pay for the care of asylum seekers. rice field.

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Asylum Seekers: Quebec Premier Proposes Other Provinces to Close Wroxham Road

Federal statistics show that more than 39,000 people have applied for asylum after being intercepted by the RCMP crossing the Canadian border into Quebec in 2022. In total, approximately 64% of all asylum applications filed in Canada in 2022 were made in Quebec.

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Last year’s numbers jumped sharply from 2021, when 4,095 migrants were blocked at Quebec’s southern border.

Poilievre did not provide details on how to address the immigration backlog, which currently stands at more than 910,000 applications, but funds could be diverted from the Roxham Road crackdown to strengthening the legal immigration system. It said it could, resulting in shorter wait times.

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser told Global News that the proposal to close Wroxham Road within 30 days “would not solve the problem without moving forward with plans to manage the consequences”, others said. It said it would only facilitate more irregular border crossings in places.

Fraser acknowledged that Quebec was facing “massive pressure” and said Ottawa had transferred thousands of migrants to other parts of Canada since last June.

A Fraser office spokesperson clarified that so far these transfers have been made to Ontario, although a “pan-Canada” approach is underway. The Minister also encouraged those wishing to enter Canada to consider other means of entry.

— Using files from Sean Boynton and The Canadian Press

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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