Many Canadians have an issue with illegal and, the made up term, "irregular" immigrants. Illegal immigration is when individuals immigrate to a country without going through, or by circumventing, the proper immigration process. Illegal immigration has become a significant issue for a number of Western countries. Canada, the United States, New Zealand, Australia, and a number of European countries all face increased illegal immigration.
One of the ways illegal immigration takes place, in Canada, is by having individuals cross the border and then claiming asylum. While some will claim this to be illegal crossing, as opposed to illegal immigration, it is clear that the system is being circumvented with false claims.
The reason this is an issue is because:
It trivializes the immigration process, which legal migrants are diligently and patiently going through;
It sends out a message to other countries that crossing and claiming asylum guarantees entry;
The system is currently overwhelmed and backlogs means it can take dozens of months to process a claim, costing the tax payer millions of dollars;
Until a claim is processed, the claimant has access to work permits, healthcare, public schools, and social assistance. Many asylum claimants are placed in hotels on the tax payer's dime, which, due to the lengthy backlog, costs millions of dollars; and
While claims are being processed, the claimants can disappear in to Canada. This is a security issue.
This immigration loop hole exists as a result of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Due to the influx of migrants around that period, the Safe Third World Agreement was passed: any non-American refugee seeking protection at the U.S./Canada border must have first filed a refugee claim with the United States. This would allow guards at Canadian land borders to turn away most asylum seekers since they are already in a safe country. The loop hole exists because refugee claims must be made at a port of entry. A port of entry is a specific spot at a border crossing. Once past the border and in to Canada, they are no longer at a port of entry and can claim asylum.
We should implement the following to prevent illegal immigrants from taking advantage of the Canadian tax payer:
Close the loop hole on the Safe Third World Agreement. This would be accomplished by requiring an asylum claim to be filed in the United States, if physically crossing the border, and by designating the entire Canadian border as a port of entry; and
Those found willfully harboring, aiding and/or abetting illegal immigrants, in any shape or form, will be severely fined, subject to criminal conviction, and, if of non-citizen status, deported.