With city shelters filled and a surge of further refugee claimants expected to flood into Windsor, Mayor Eddie Francis is pleading for financial help from Ottawa.
“When there is a possibility of adding thousands to the local social assistance system as a result of refugee claimants crossing the border into Windsor, we will become overwhelmed and our current resources will not suffice,” Francis wrote in a letter sent Wednesday to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Over the past three weeks, 45 families and 31 individuals -- approximately 200 people -- entered Canada at the Detroit River crossings and applied in Windsor for shelter and social assistance after filing refugee claims with the Canada Border Services Agency. Municipal agencies dealing with the sudden influx of mainly Mexican refugee applicants are renting out hotel rooms and bracing for predicted thousands more to come.
“We don’t have the means, ability or capacity to deal with this additional cost. We are not able to deal with this potential crisis locally,” Francis wrote Harper.
“I don’t believe that Windsor’s residents and taxpayers should have to foot the bill for U.S. immigration policy,” Francis [said]. He was referring to the suspected source of the problem -- a recently begun crackdown on illegal immigrants in economically struggling regions of the U.S. South.
Hmm…perhaps they can build a wall?
How come these are Mexican citizens who are actively encouraged by their government to get across the border, and yet it’s America’s fault that they end up in Canada?
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Further into the article - much further - you find the source of the problem: a little bit of Haitian free enterprise operating in Florida:
But a group operating out of Naples, Fla., vowed to continue sending the so-called economic refugees to Windsor.
“They ask, ‘Is Canada an option?’ and I say, ‘Yes, it is an option,’“ Jacques Sinjuste of the Jerusalem Haitian Community Center said in a phone interview Wednesday. For a US$300 “donation” (most of those interviewed in Windsor claim they paid US$400), JHCC staff download forms off the Internet, help applicants fill them out and give directions on how to get to the Canadian border.
So these poor illegal immigrants are taken for a ride by another immigrant who prints out forms they could get for ten cents a page at a local library. And then all they need are directions to the bus terminal…but of course they don’t speak English.
To be successful, refugee claimants must prove they are fleeing persecution at home, something most of the Mexicans arriving in Windsor would be hard-pressed to do…there was only a 13 per cent acceptance rate of refugee claims filed by Mexican nationals during the first six months of the year, compared to an overall rate of 47 per cent.
But the average processing time for a refugee claim in Canada is currently 14.2 months…a period during which the applicant is eligible for financial and other support. A failed claimant then also has the right to seek leave to appeal his or her rejection to federal court.
I feel sorry for any Mexican who has to winter over in Canada only to be deported (where? To the U.S. or to Mexico? To whomever doesn’t make a big fuss - which Mexico will surely do).
Meanwhile, Sinjuste has been paid a visit by a member of the Canadian consulate in Florida. Somehow, I doubt any dialogue is going to stop him from collecting $400.00 a head from these poor people:
Sinjuste said he’s simply providing a “referral” service.
“Most of the time when the people come, they say they’ve heard something (about Canada). I say that I’ve heard the same thing,” he said.
Sly one, isn't he? So is it Haiti’s fault that this guy, Sinjuste, ended up in Florida fleecing Mexicans and pointing them to Windsor? If so, does that make Haiti the real source of Windsor’s problem?
And since Haiti's problems originate in its colonization by France, shouldn't Canada be talking to the French consulate instead of some mountebank in Florida?
Never mind. Let’s worry about all that tomorrow, when the North American Union comes to life and our three former countries are just one big happy continent just like our European cousins.
Hat tip: Jillosophy