Steps to Secure Canadian Border Being Ignored

Niagra Falls, Ontario - Sunday, December 9, 2001 - by: Joe Hueglin


Dear Editor,




Steps that MAY be taken to secure our borders have been largely ignored.




No refugee producing countries border Canada yet each year 30 000 claims are made for refugee status. About half crossing from the United States, half by air from European countries and the remainder by air from other regions or by sea..




Those coming from the 'States either had visas or entered the US illegally. In either case by the UN agreement they ought to have sought refuge there. The same holds true for those coming from Western European countries.




Until now all have been welcomed - with or without documentation, given papers to fill in and a date to show up for a hearing.


Lost in discussion over the US military patrolling our borders with fully armed helicopters are bilateral agreements increasing the number of Canadian and Immigration Control Officers (ICOs) overseas and working towards a safe third-country agreement.


  These steps together with Bill C-44's provision of information on passengers being forwarded before landing, and, the Commons Committee recommendations on detaining undocumented claimants can secure our borders from those seeking to abuse our laws.
  With self selected claimants reduced, resources now absorbed by lawyers and officials in the refugee determination system can and ought to be redirected to increasing the scope of the existing programme whereby genuine refugees are selected abroad for their capabilities of adapting to Canadian patterns of life.
  If and when implemented, both real refugees and Canada will benefit.
  Yours truly


Joe Hueglin
5838 Mouland Avenue
Niagara Falls, Ontario

  Joint Statement on Cooperation on Border Security and Regional Migration Issues -
Increase the number of Canadian and U.S. Immigration Control Officers (ICOs) overseas.
This will enable Canada and the U.S. to enhance border security, as it improves our ability to detect those who are ineligible for entry from arriving before they reach Canada or the U.S. These officers will exchange information and work with airlines to detect fraudulent documents.
Work towards a safe third-country agreement.
Third-country nationals in the United States or Canada are able to move between two countries to seek asylum in their country of choice or in both countries. Implementing a safe third-country agreement would allow either country to return an asylum applicant to the other country for assessment. This allows asylum systems to focus on genuine refugees in need of protection.
Bill C-44
The bill does allow Ottawa to obtain the information -- which could include names, travel information and passport numbers -- if it does so "for the purpose of protecting national security or public safety or for the purpose of defence."
House of Commons Committee report
The government should detain more undocumented refugees and take stronger measures to enforce deportation orders, a Liberal-dominated House of Commons committee recommended yesterday.