“It’s about to blow. I think there’s going to be confrontations.”
A few weeks ago, President Donald Trump signed his executive order that halted immigration for only a few months and from only seven countries until the government could develop a better vetting process. These countries have high Islamic terrorism occurrences, so it makes sense for our national security, right?
Well, the welcoming spirit has started to diminish over the same concerns Trump has expressed. Surprising, eh?
The CBC spoke with members of one small town in Manitoba about the influx and the worry that has spread among its citizens.
The town of Emerson, Manitoba, houses 671 people and sits right on the border of North Dakota and Minnesota. Many asylum seekers have made their way to Emerson since it’s on the border.
Senior town official Greg Janzen has given many interviews due to the increase of asylum seekers. He told the CBC he gave “95 television interviews over the last two weeks.” But a lot has changed in those two weeks:
“It’s starting to get concerning, because the numbers are growing,” Janzen said.
The community continues to help those who find their way into Emerson, but Janzen stated more of the citizens have started to worry “that someone, possibly with a criminal background, might be able to sneak in among the asylum seekers and into their community.”
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
The CBC continued:
Janzen said he’s concerned that someone with criminal intent could break into a home, or attempt to steal a car, which could lead to a clash with a member of the community.
“It’s about to blow. I think there’s going to be confrontations,” Janzen said. “There’s going to be an incident.”
The law states that it’s illegal for someone to enter the country “by evading official border points.” But once that person enters Canada, “he or she is able to claim refugee status.”
The federal Manitoba Conservative caucus has also begun to worry more about these border crossings:
“Canada is a safe and welcoming country, but we must also take steps to protect our border and ensure the process for entering our country is consistent and fair for all seeking refuge in Canada,” the caucus said in a statement.
The caucus urged the federal government to beef up resources to strengthen the security of the border.
Again, doesn’t this all sound very familiar? And it doesn’t end here.
The caucus said that the rule “rewards those that are entering Canada illegally and acts as a disincentive to proceed through the fair, legitimate application process.” Parliament member Ted Falk, also the chair of the caucus, claims that these asylum seekers “come in the middle of the night.” They will “pound on the door, ring the doorbell, tap on the glass.” These actions have caused residents to become more anxious:
“We don’t know the people who are coming across. Are they all coming across because of a desire to seek a better life? Or are they coming across perhaps because they are criminals?”
But it’s not just about security. Remember, only 671 people call Emerson home. It’s a very small time. A massive increase of people have also strained the town’s resources:
Bill Spanjer, municipal emergency co-ordinator for Emerson-Franklin, said some of the local resources of Emerson are being taxed — particularly the paid volunteers who must respond to every 911 call regarding an asylum seeker.
“I think the ones that are most taxed are the ones who are running out at 3:30 in the morning … looking for these people,” Spanjer said.
There are 21 members of the fire department, but eight of those are specially trained as medical responders, meaning one of those within that group must attend every call. As well, it’s a paid volunteer force and most have full-time jobs.
“They’re getting called out of their beds of all hours of the night because most of these incidents are happening at night,” Spanjer said.
I imagine other small border towns have this same problem, but the media ignores it because it disrupts the narrative.
If you come across any story like this about other Canadian towns, please send them to me. You can find me on Twitter: @mchastain81.DONATE
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