So what do we do now? Last October, a ship carrying 76 Tamils from Sri Lanka docked in Canada, and all the passengers claimed refugee status. They are still here, as their cases go through Canada’s drawn out refugee evaluation process: none were sent back to Sri Lanka.
Complicating things even more, coincidentally or deliberately, some of them will undoubtedly have children born here while waiting for the outcome of their applications.
The word that none have been ordered out has apparently made it across the sea: another ship, carrying an estimated 200 more Tamils is believed headed right towards Canada and there are reportedly two more ships already signing up passengers (and taking their money) promising passage to our shores. Undoubtedly, all of thosee passengers will also claim refugee status.
So what are we to do?
Canada is a country that has prospered from the millions of legitimate refugees throughout our history who have established new lives here. Indeed , many of our ancestors … whether from Europe, South America, the Middle East or Asia … came to get away from some type of oppression.
I believe we owe it to legitimate refugees, fleeing sometimes horrific conditions and treatment, to provide them a welcome, our sympathy and our support. (It remains a stain on Canada’s history that we turned away so many Jewish refugees during the Second World War, and even sent many back … to their deaths.)
So if there are real refugees on any ship or plane or car or on foot who make it to Canada and can prove they face oppression, injury and even death in the country they are fleeing, then we should open our doors to them.
But who are these Tamils who have come on last Fall’s ship … or are coming on the vessel expected within days, or are packing themselves up in Sri Lanka for the next Canada sailings?
The government fears that many are former Tamil Tiger terrorists …. members of a horribly brutal repressive Sri Lankan separatist group that committed murders, extortion, piracy and sent fear throughout many, many communities in their path.
They should not be allowed to stay Canada.
Then there are those economic improvement seekers : people who have come to Canada or are on their way, simply coming for better economic opportunities, better education, better health care, better living conditions for themselves and their children. But unlike the millions of immigrants who respected the rules and came to Canada legally, these economic “refugees” have not applied to immigrate, filled out any forms or waited either approval or their turn in the qeue. They thumb their noses at our laws… and just expect to come here, settle in.
They should not be allowed to stay in Canada.
And we must send a message to the world that Canada welcomes true refugees but will NOT be a dumping ground for terrorists (whether Tamil Tigers, Hamas, Hesbollah, Rwanda, FARC of Khalistan) and we expect aspiring economic immigrants to apply, do the paperwork and wait their turn.
How do we send that message?
We must detain and contain ALL refugee claimants in secure facilities until their cases are dealt with and adjudicated. Yes, speed up the process, but we should not just release all refugee claimants into our cities, on public assistance, to establish lives, and work until their claim is accepted, or if their case is rejected. to take off and ignore deportation orders
Real refugees will not mind being held/fed in warm/safe/secure facilities while their stories are checked out … and then can be welcomed into our society and given all the support they need to establish new lives.
Those who protest the most, I submit, are the fakers: economic migrants who thumb their noses at Canada’s immigration laws; and terrorists who never respected the rights of others back home and just want to escape justice by coming to Canada.
We owe these people nothing. We must not free them to enjoy life here. Send them home to pay for their crimes, or to apply to immigrate to Canada like all the honest applicants do.
By detaining them …and then throwing out all the illegitimate claimants without giving them a chance to go into hiding, we will send the clear message Canada is not a dumping ground for criminals and those who just think they can come to live here without respecting our rules or even filling out an application.
Otherwise, get ready for more and more arrivals of ships from all over… Asia, South America, Africa … loaded with people, but with not a single documented immigrant among them.