Sunday, February 12, 2017

Transit to Refugee Havens

"These raids have struck fear in the hearts of the immigrant community as many fear that President Trump's promised 'deportation force' is now in full swing."
Congressional Hispanic Congress

"Donald Trump has effectively created a way to deport individuals who have been accused, charged or convicted of anything from murder to jaywalking."
"And if you read the text of that executive order broadly, that applies to all non-citizens. I can tell you, the possibilities have made a lot of people here shudder."
Angelica Salas, executive director, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, Los Angeles
Protesters gather at JFK International Airport's Terminal 4 to demonstrate against US President Donald Trump's executive order, on January 28, 2016 in New York. Trump has signed a sweeping executive order to suspend refugee arrivals and impose tough controls on travelers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. (BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images)
"I had a few people call me saying they [illegal migrants from the United States] were ringing their doorbell and banging their doors. I know one household that let a young family in until the police came."
"He felt sorry for them. At that point, you know, the humanitarian part kicks in."
Greg Janzen, mayor, Emerson, Manitoba
Does a nation have the right to determine who and how many whos should enter their borders to aspire to achieving all the rights of residence? Do people entering a nation's borders have the right to do so lacking proper authority through bypassing normally recognized channels leading to legal ingress by obtaining the required paperwork to formally gain them admission? There are millions of illegal aliens in the United States, politely called undocumented migrants.

In the best of all possible worlds, there would be equality and generosity everywhere; open borders and ample opportunities and resources to share. But we do not live in the best of all possible worlds and nations have the internationally recognized right to determine who may be admitted within their borders and who may not, in their own best interests. This is as much a reflection of human nature as it is the fact that some countries are well-organized, social-oriented and regulated where human rights are respected, and others are the antithesis of this.

Those living in the latter, strive to become residents of the former; that too is human nature. It is also human nature to resent and to wish ill upon those seen as privileged over the less privileged. Some are capable of laying aside their resentment and others use that emotion to create chaos. Any country has the right and the obligation to protect its citizens by restraining ill-doers from their shores. And anyone who has travelled unauthorized to a country where they execute criminal acts can be deported.

The crisis of undocumented migrants living and working in the United States has gone on for decades and has built to a crescendo. It is a matter of the public weal, of stretching resources, and at the same time of recognizing that those who live in undocumented fear as law-abiding people who have invested many years in their lives as undocumented migrants have raised families and since they often fulfill jobs others reject, they have earned their right to due consideration.

With a new American administration vowing to fulfill what earlier administrations have failed at due to the complexities involved and due regard for humanity, American Immigration and Customs Enforcement has conducted enforcement actions within large urban areas arresting hundreds of individuals and detaining them, presumably prior to deportation. Bearing in mind that these are people who have no legal rights, who have chosen to invade another country.

Donald Trump's executive order titled "Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States", fulfills his election promises that he would rid his country of those illegal aliens who have committed crimes and are still at loose. All those living in the United States, or are recently arrived as economic migrants, are understandably concerned for their personal well-being, uncertain of the outcome of their fragile situation.

Their choice for whatever reason was to migrate to the United States, universally recognized as a civil place of great opportunities. Fear is beginning to drive some of these people elsewhere, in the hope of finding haven less threatening to their aspirations. And so a small town close to the border with the United States, on the Manitoba side in Canada has been experiencing a mini-invasion of people eager to declare themselves refugees seeking haven in Canada.

These are mostly migrants from Somalia and Ghana, prepared, they think, to risk harm to themselves by walking for hours through snow-thick fields to breach the border and go on into Emerson, Manitoba in the past few months. Residents of the town have been awakened by loud, insistent knocking at their doors in the middle of the night; an unpleasant experience. But those who have been walking across the border during a miserable, cold Manitoba winter would be risking life and limb to the cold.
SUPPLIED </p><p>Seidu Mohammad, a refugee claimant from Ghana, expects to lose his fingers after he walked for more than seven hours toward the Canadian border on Dec. 24.</p>
SUPPLIED  Seidu Mohammad, a refugee claimant from Ghana, expects to lose his fingers after he walked for more than seven hours toward the Canadian border on Dec. 24.

Two men originally from Ghana had done so in December and for their troubles had become badly frostbitten, the result of which was that digits on both hands had to be amputated when gangrene set in. Increasingly Somalians and Ghanaians risk freeing temperatures to trudge into Canada. They are crossing through to Quebec, Manitoba and British Columbia. Once asylum seekers cross the border they do so in circumvention of the Safe Third Country Agreement between Canada and the United States.

That convention is based on the premise that both nations are safe countries for refugees and ordinarily officials in Canada will not admit refugees who have claimed asylum first in the United States. Once in Canada, they can make their claims, however. "With the instability and insecurity these people feel in the United States, they try to enter illegally, because that's the way to go around that agreement", explained immigration lawyer, Julie Lessard.

"They want to be noticed, they're not hiding. They want to be picked up", Paul Viau, mayor of the township of Hemmingford Quebec, the province that has received the greater bulk of cross-overs, said of refugees coming across the border on a daily basis, directly into the trust of RCMP officers prepared to take them into custody.

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