Refugee Crisis

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Roxham Road sees record number cross into Canada illegally in 2022
Author of the article:Brian Lilley
Published Jan 23, 2023 • 3 minute read

A total of 4,689 people entered Canada illegally at Roxham Road in Quebec in December which is more than arrived at the “irregular border crossing’ in all of 2021.


In fact, December 2022 is the second highest month on record, only behind August 2017 when 5,530 people entered.


The tally of people crossing into the country illegally and then claiming asylum was 39,171 last year. That’s more than double the 18,836 who entered the country at Roxham Road in 2017, the previous record.

“We must continue to work with our American partners to improve the situation,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said last week when asked about the situation including the case of a man who died in the cold trying to cross back into the United States.

Trudeau said that he wants changes to the Safe Third Country Agreement with the Americans, “which will allow us to reduce these irregular crossings and promote legal immigration.”


If only Trudeau’s words were believable after six years of his government allowing this situation to grow, become worse and put a strain on provincial resources, on the RCMP and on the legal immigration system. In 2022, we brought in a population bigger than Spruce Grove, Alta., Shawinigan, Que., or Bradford, Ont. through a dead-end road at the Quebec-New York border.

Trudeau created this problem
Prior to 2017, this wasn’t a problem and then Trudeau decided to insert himself into American politics.

When Donald Trump made it known that, as president, he would end a program that allowed Haitian nationals to stay in the United States beyond the usual terms, Trudeau tweeted out a welcome mat. Canada had already put an end to a similar program, many people had returned, but Trudeau had to show he was better than Trump.

“To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada,” Trudeau tweeted on Jan. 28, 2017.



The tweet saw interest in people heading to Canada spike as documents from Global Affairs Canada showed at the time. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a legal and controlled immigration, it was people flying into JFK airport in New York City, taking a bus to Plattsburgh, N.Y. and then cabbing it to the Canada-U.S. border.

Despite giant signs stating that crossing at that point is illegal and verbal warnings from the RCMP that anyone coming across would be arrested, the crowds kept coming. In 2017 it was 18,838. A similar 18,518 in 2018. In 2019 it dropped slightly to 16,136 before dropping to a little over 3,000 in 2020 and 4,000 in 2021 due to the pandemic.

Now, though, the people crossing have returned with gusto — an average of 107 people crossed each day and at great cost to the taxpayer.


Millions to rent out empty hotels
The Globe and Mail reported over the weekend that since the last election in September 2021, the federal government has spent $94 million on hotels to house the migrants. The government is booking large blocks of rooms near the site of the crossing but also across the Montreal area, in Ottawa and in Niagara Falls.

Often, despite the government leasing the rooms, at times entire hotels, the Globe reported that the rooms are often empty.

In Quebec, Trudeau’s policy and attitude to this issue is not popular. A poll released two weeks ago showed that 68% want the border crossing closed, something Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre has said he would do but Trudeau has not.

“I understand why desperate people are trying to cross there,” Poilievre said earlier this month. “Our system is now so slow and so broken.”

But, he said, the government needs to focus on legal immigration, and he would put an emphasis on that while closing Roxham Road. Trudeau has shown over the last six years that he’d rather lean into this issue, another importation of American culture war politics as he tries to make illegal immigration a wedge issue here.

In Quebec, they aren’t buying that, which might be why he says he’s looking for a solution now.

blilley@postmedia.com
 
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NYC now paying for bus fare if migrants head north to Roxham Road
Author of the article:Brian Lilley
Published Feb 06, 2023 • Last updated 2 days ago • 3 minute read

New York City is paying for bus tickets to the Canadian border for migrants who want to flee the Big Apple. The New York Post not only reported on the issue Sunday night, but they also confirmed it with top government officials.


Seems southern border states like Texas, frustrated with the flood of people coming across the Mexican-American border, have been sending busloads of people to progressive sanctuary cities. It’s a move that’s attracted widespread criticism from people saying it shows Texas doesn’t care about the plight of migrants and is inhumane.


Now it turns out N.Y.C. is doing the same thing by passing the problem on to Canada.

“Mayor Eric Adams’s administration pays various companies that run programs for migrants that include ‘re-ticketing’ so they can travel to other cities, a City Hall source said,” the Post reported Sunday.

As busloads of people from Texas arrive at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City, National Guard soldiers direct the people coming off the buses to those handing out the free tickets that will take them to Canada.

“The military gave me and my family free bus tickets. I am going to Canada for a better quality of life for my family,” Raymond Peña told the Post.

Peña travelled north to the United States from Venezuela and then was transported to N.Y.C. Once in N.Y.C. he was given a bus ticket to Plattsburgh, NY, about 38 kilometres from the Canada-U.S. border.

Anyone who has followed the issue at Roxham Rd. over the past five years knows what comes next. The buses from N.Y.C. are met by cab companies who then take their passengers to the dead-end place where last year more than 39,000 people crossed into Canada illegally.

“There’s gotta be 100 people a day,” driver Tyler Tambini, 23, told the Post. “I do this all day. They get dropped off and I take them the rest of the way.”


The New York Post isn’t the first media outlet to follow migrants from N.Y.C. to the border, documenting the small but booming industry of cab and van drivers waiting to take passengers from Plattsburgh to the border. This has been well documented over the years even if many in Canada, especially the media, want to ignore this aspect of the story or downplay it.

As for the driver’s claim that there must be 100 people a day, that would be an understatement. Over the last year, most months saw more than 100 people per day over average and in December, 4,689 people crossed into Canada illegally for a daily average of 151 per for the last month of 2022.

Now we have proof that New York City, under Adams, a Democrat, is paying bus fare for people to come to Canada. Will Adams be denounced as heartless or cruel by Canada’s progressives?


What’s really shameful is that the people being offered tickets likely aren’t being told the whole truth. Are they told that crossing at Roxham Rd. is illegal and they will be arrested for doing so?

It’s true that they can claim asylum once they enter Canada, but to do that, and be successful, you need to be a bona fide refugee, not an economic migrant. Only about 50% of refugee claims are accepted as legitimate by the federal government and the rate is lower for those crossing at Roxham Rd.

Justin Trudeau imported the issue of illegal immigration into Canada from the United States. Now he has a problem that is getting bigger thanks to his political ally, Eric Adams, handing out bus tickets.

It would be nice if Trudeau had a solution for this issue other than lecturing Canadians.

blilley@postmedia.com
 

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How did a B.C. gangster get a passport in a fake name? Feds won't say
RCMP won't even confirm if they are investigating the case of the real passport in a fake name

Author of the article:Kim Bolan
Published Feb 03, 2023 • Last updated 16 hours ago • 5 minute read

A year after former B.C. gangster Jimi Sandhu was shot to death in Thailand, no details have been released by any Canadian agency about how the 32-year-old obtained a legitimate passport with his photo beside a fake name.


Someone submitted a mail-in application for the passport in 2020 and it was issued out of Saskatoon on Jan. 28, 2021 — five years after the United Nations gangster was deported from Canada to his native India for serious criminality.


Sandhu used the passport to enter Thailand just eight days before his Feb. 4, 2022, assassination, allegedly by two Canadian hit men.

Royal Thai Police investigators found the passport along with cash and drugs in the luxury beachfront villa Sandhu was renting on the tourist island of Phuket.


Police Maj.-Gen. Khemmarin Hassiri confirmed to Postmedia that the passport was a mail-in application.

But Canadian officials have refused to comment specifically on how a convicted criminal thrown out of the country could get his hands on such a valuable commodity.


Sources told Postmedia that Sandhu used Canadian associates to apply for the passport. Once it was issued, one of those associates flew to Southeast Asia to deliver it to the UN gangster.

RCMP Cpl. Christy Veenstra said she couldn’t comment on whether there was even an investigation into the fraudulent Sandhu passport.

“As far as the passport investigation goes, at this time we can only say the RCMP generally does not confirm or deny if an investigation is underway unless criminal charges are laid. We therefore cannot provide further information on this matter,” she said in an email.

The federal Employment and Social Development department provided statistics to Postmedia on the number of mail-in applications per fiscal year from 2017 until now. The highest number of applications came in 2017-2018 with more than 1.7 million. The year Sandhu applied for his, that number had fallen to just 127,829 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


The government agency could not provide a breakdown for each province, saying that “passport processing is treated as a national workload.”

Asked about other cases like Sandhu’s, media relations officer Maja Stefanovska did not directly response, but said: “the Canadian passport is, and will remain, one of the most secure travel documents in the world.”

Applications are compared to databases “and the results are analyzed,” she said.

“We can’t share what is in those databases nor how those checks are performed. If analysis shows that all requirements are met, the application is considered `entitled’ and sent to the next step.”

An application then proceeds to second level security checks before it’s “deemed cleared for printing.” “The passport is then printed, quality assurance of the printed passport is performed, the passport information is reviewed against the system to ensure that the information in the book is accurate,” Stefanovska said.


“Furthermore, the passport chip is tested and if all verifications are successful, the passport is deemed ready for delivery.”

None of that explains how Sandhu was able to manipulate the system.

But his application was processed at a time when government services were hit with staff shortages due to the pandemic.

In its 2020-2021 annual report, the federal Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship department noted the staffing shortages and closures of passport offices.

“Applications by mail continued to be received, but with processing locations closed or at limited capacity, there were delays in processing applications received at the beginning of the pandemic,” the report said. “With waves of lock downs occurring across the globe, offices abroad were also closed at times or offered limited services, inevitably reducing processing capacity.”


Data provided by the Canada Border Services Agency under the access to information act showed that between 2015 and the end of 2020, just 12 cases were found of people attempting to enter the country with counterfeit Canadian passports. Most of those were in 2019 and 2020 with seven and four incidents in each of those years.

Sandhu is not the first gangster with links to B.C. to get a fraudulent passport.

Wolf Pack gangster Rabih Alkhalil and his brother Nabil, who grew up on the Lower Mainland, got their hands on fake passports out of Ontario in 2014, allowing them to flee from Canada. Rabih was later arrested in Greece, though he escaped from a B.C. jail last summer in the middle of his murder trial. Nabil was shot to death in Mexico in 2018.

The Wolf Pack is suspected of hiring the alleged hit men who flew to Phuket to kill Sandhu. Ex-soldiers Matthew Dupre and Gene Lahrkamp were charged with first-degree murder. Lahrkamp later died in an Ontario plane crash. Dupre is fighting his extradition to Thailand. A third Canadian alleged to be involved in the plot has not been charged.

Supt. Duncan Pound, of B.C.’s Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, said his agency was not involved in any probe of the Sandhu passport.

But CFSEU continues to investigate the larger conspiracy that led to the Sandhu assassination.

“We had an investigation here to see if we could gather evidence with respect to the conspiracy. And then obviously, that sort of made us the natural lead in terms of providing the Canadian support to the extradition request from the Thai police,” Pound said this week.

Article content
As for B.C. gangsters getting fake passports, he said: “Gang violence is not just a B.C. problem, or just a Canada problem.”

“Gangsters need to find ways to travel internationally. And an obvious challenge they face is being able to travel on a name other than their own. We would acknowledge that organized crime groups try and find ways to travel and escape the attention of law enforcement.”

kbolan@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/kbolan