Seventeen migrants were caught near Emerson, Canada, after crossing into the country from the United States, part of an increasing wave of illegal aliens heading north as the Trump administration promises enforcement of immigration laws.
The small Manitoba town has seen 200 border-crossers so far this year, and was visited by Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale last Saturday, who promised the community an additional $22,000 in resources to help deal with the increased migrant flow.
“The early results show that enforcement matters, deterrence matters, and that comprehensive immigration enforcement can make an impact.”
“We all need to work together. We have to have good communication with one another. This is a set of issues that span national, provincial and local responsibilities,” he told reporters on Saturday. However, Goodale said there were no plans to increase border security.
On Monday, the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) reported that 635 people attempted to claim refugee status at Quebec’s border with the U.S. in February 2017, compared with only 99 in 2016. That’s an increase of over 640 percent.
This January, 452 people claimed asylum at the Quebec border, an increase of 230 percent from January 2016, while British Columbia saw a 60-percent increase in refugee claimants in the last 12 months compared with the previous year.
Canadian ministers met Tuesday to discuss how to handle the increased flow. The northern migration appears to be a direct result of the Trump administration’s immigration enforcement rhetoric — suggesting that talking about following the law can have a de facto enforcement effect on its own.
The CBC reported this week that a majority of the migrants entering Canada appear to be Muslims from the Middle East and Central and South Americans. British Columbia has seen almost as many Mexicans claimants in the last three months alone as it received in the 11-month period between December 2015 and November 2016.
And while crossings into Canada at the northern border are skyrocketing, crossings into the United States at the southern border are plummeting.
“From January to February, the flow of illegal border crossings at our southern border dropped by 40 percent,” U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly said in an official statement Wednesday.
“Since the administration’s implementation of executive orders to enforce immigration laws, apprehensions and inadmissible activity is trending toward the lowest monthly total in at least the last five years,” he said.
The sharp drop, revealed in data from Customs and Border Protection, is nearly unprecedented. CBP data shows that apprehensions at border crossings increased from January to February in every single year since 2000 — in some years, those increases numbered in the tens of thousands.
This year, however, the number of apprehensions at border crossings decreased from 31,578 in January to 18,762 in February, nearly 13,000 fewer apprehensions, representing a decrease of 40.5 percent.
“This change in the trend line is especially significant because CBP historically sees a 10-20 percent increase in apprehensions of illegal immigrants from January to February,” wrote Kelly.
“As directed in my memoranda implementing the President’s executive orders, we remain committed to carrying out fair, impartial and humane enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws,” Kelly wrote.
“We will remain vigilant to respond to any changes in these trends, as numbers of illegal crossings typically increase between March and May. However, the early results show that enforcement matters, deterrence matters, and that comprehensive immigration enforcement can make an impact.”