Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Cracking Down on Bogus Asylum Seekers

With reports of another Tamil migrant ship on it's way, the federal government is looking for ways to target  human trafficking. and other measures to block future mass arrivals of smuggled would be refugees.
The Conservative government is working on legislation and program changes that target human smuggling following last month's arrival of the MV Sun Sea off the B.C. coast.
 Prime Minister Stephen Harper has told Public Safety Minister Vic Toews and Justice Minister Rob Nicholson to deal with what the government is calling "mass arrivals" of smuggled would-be refugees.
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney traveled to Paris on the weekend to discuss bogus asylum seekers and human trafficking with his counterparts over  in Europe.
Canada is turning to Europe for partners in a widening fight against human trafficking and bogus asylum seekers.
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney met over the weekend in Paris with counterparts from European nations that are also choice destinations, leaving with commitments to projects that could include a joint campaign to persuade unqualified migrants that they aren’t welcome. It was the first stop on a tour that includes talks with officials in India, China and the Philippines on ways to combat immigration fraud.
Ezra Levant has an idea. Encourage those bogus asylum seekers to go  to a peaceful country in Asia that has the UN seal of approval.
Great news: There is a country in Asia willing to take Sri Lankan Tamil refugees by the thousand — with the United Nations’ seal of approval.
And they’re already doing it. In the first six months of 2010, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees says the generous country accepted 1,857 Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka, who had been staying temporarily in India.
UN refugee spokesman Michael Zwack says these Tamils are now “rebuilding their lives.” The UN quoted one Tamil refugee, a 39-year-old woman, who said she was pleased with her new home for a pretty good reason: “Peace.”
So where is this wonderful place that Sri Lankan refugees are going to by the thousand?
Sri Lanka.
That’s right. Thousands of Tamil refugees are returning to Sri Lanka — because it’s safe. Within Sri Lanka itself, internal refugee camps for displaced Tamils are winding down, as Tamils go back home
Meanwhile, you have those bleeding hearts out there who seem to think that the Harper government wanting to crack down on this crime is just a about the politics of fear.
The second boat of Tamil migrants couldn’t have chosen a worse time to arrive.
We were we told that these people were aliens jumping the queue and feeding off our tax system, that the Tamil Tigers are establishing a government in exile and sending more boats.
As the boat came closer, our collective intelligence was increasingly insulted. We were hysterically warned of terrorists on board. Rejecting the concept of innocence until proven guilty, the Conservatives still continue to spread these unsubstantiated allegations.
Not only does this slander those involved, it undermines the trust the public places in their government. The danger in throwing around terrorism allegations is that it opens the door to a boy-cried-wolf situation.
Harper’s efforts have largely been successful. With weak media seeking the latest sensationalized story, the Conservatives have gained support from tough-on-crime voters and the pesky Afghan torture scandal is far off the radar.
Terrorism means using fear to coerce. It seems this is exactly Harper and Sarkozy’s approach to public debate.
The Tamil migrants deserve the fair process afforded to all claiming refugee status. The Roma in France deserve concrete moves to help them assimilate into society. The Canadian and French electorates deserve governments that don’t steep to scapegoating when faced with tough questions.
While the Tamil migrant situation is less elaborate than the French expulsion of Roma people, it sets a shared and dangerous precedent. Using xenophobia as a political tool is dangerous, cowardly, and undermines democracy. I trust Canadians will be smart and courageous enough to see past the fear-mongering and focus on getting answers to our real questions.
Go figure!  I think it's about time something was done.  The sooner the better.  Canada has been way too  soft on immigration and refugees for far too long.  Let's just hope the opposition parties support this, although I'm not holding my breath.