#WelcomeToCanada, now leave
I couldn’t help but chuckle reading the latest Wall Street Journal report detailing Canada’s lack of charity to incoming immigrants.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was the progressive hero of the hour when a newly inaugurated Trump issued his first travel executive order, attempting to temporarily curb immigration from known state sponsors of terror.
Rewind to January:
From The Independent‘s January report:
Justin Trudeau has responded to Donald Trump’s immigration ban by saying Canada welcomes refugees who have been rejected from the US.
The Canadian Prime Minister also said he intends on talking to Mr Trump about the success of the refugee and immigration policy in Canada.
Mr Trudeau made the heart felt plea on social media and also uploaded an image of him greeting a Syrian child at Toronto airport.
“To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada,” he tweeted.
The tweet has received over 369,000 retweets so far and “Welcome to Canada” began trending in the country.
To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 28, 2017
Hashtag activism is all well and good until it meets reality. Mere months later, Canada’s boy wonder was forced to rethink #WelcomeToCanada. Turns out issuing an open invitation to the rest of the world is not the best idea after all. Trudeau was called “irresponsible” for his tweet and blamed for leaving the system “in shambles.”
The prime minister has taken heat from opposition politicians who say his welcoming messages may have misled some into believing that Canada accept all migrants with open arms.
“Our system now is in shambles, and I think a lot of this has to do with the messaging — the inconsistent messaging — that has been coming out of Justin Trudeau’s personal communication shop,” said MP Michelle Rempel, the Conservative immigration critic.
She pointed to Trudeau’s viral tweet – sent out shortly after Donald Trump moved to ban travellers from several Muslim-majority countries last January – which read: “To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada.”
Rempel described the tweet as irresponsible, linking it to the surge of asylum seekers now streaming into Canada. “I want to be perfectly clear. This is a problem that is of the prime minister’s making. We weren’t seeing this as an issue in the past, for a reason. Tweets have a great degree of import on the public dialogue,” she said. “I think he’s giving false hope to people crossing the border.”
Now, Trudeau’s administration has made an about face on immigration policy, desperately trying to stifle the flow of asylum-seekers. From the Wall Street Journal:
Canada has an urgent message for immigrants in the U.S. fearing deportation: Don’t count on us for refuge.
Earlier this month in Los Angeles, a top lawmaker with Canada’s governing party met with members of the local Hispanic immigrant community to stress that people who fear losing their protected status in the U.S. shouldn’t expect automatic reception in Canada—and could be deported to their country of origin if they make the trip north.
“It’s really important before making any decisions that they understand [Canadian] laws,” Pablo Rodriguez, a Liberal member of parliament from Quebec, told the group.
That message marks a shift for Canada, which has emphasized its friendliness toward immigrants as the Trump administration has moved to tighten U.S. borders. When the U.S. launched its ban on travelers from some Muslim-majority countries in January, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau posted a message on his Twitter account: “To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength.”
Since mid-July, however, Canada has faced an unprecedented influx from the U.S. of some 7,000 asylum seekers, in large part Haitians who feared deportation once their U.S. temporary protection expires. Many of them were among the estimated 58,000 in the U.S. under a humanitarian program that allowed them to stay as the Caribbean island rebuilt after a devastating earthquake in 2010. The Trump administration has signaled it won’t renew the protections once a six-month extension runs out in January.
Now Ottawa is rushing to clarify its own rules: namely, that those who arrive in Canada can be deported back to their country of origin, not just returned to the U.S. Furthermore, if they have been denied asylum in the U.S., they are unlikely to receive it in Canada.
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