If there had been a simple solution to the flood of refugees crossing Roxham Road, it would have been in place by now.
Posted at 5:00 p.m.
Closing this irregular Monterrey route, as Franయిois Legalt claims these days, is like placing a stone in the middle of the river in hopes of stopping the water. Try to see. Our guess: No matter how small the water skips the rock and the river continues to flow.
We have to go back to the source of it, and it will involve difficult negotiations with the Americans. Ottawa It’s good to speed up these dragging talks – we’ll get it.
In the meantime, however, the Trudeau government has a very simple thing to do to make things easier for everyone: fix the infamous bureaucracy in its immigration department and issue work permits quickly to refugees.
In this case, Quebec is right to be impatient.
The regional government says it takes an average of 10 to 11 months for a refugee claimant to obtain a work permit. Immigration lawyers confirm that the processes are endless.
According to our information, the work permit issue is not a delay, but a preliminary step intended to provide a “refugee document”.
Such a delay hurts everyone. They are placed in a situation where they are dependent on refugees, which delays their social and economic integration.
They take away from the workforce that they need more than ever and that their scarcity has real negative economic consequences. Refugees have different profiles and generalizations should be avoided, but many are able to replace jobs that require certain qualifications, which are currently very difficult to fill.
As long as these people are with us, let’s encourage them to work!
The slowdown in the system means that refugees must be supported until they can earn a living.
Contrary to what we often read, Ottawa predicts refugee health and housing costs. Quebec, however, is in the process of verifying whether the federal government will cover all the costs paid by the province or whether there is a shortage.
It is also fitting that the Legalt government should raise the fact that Quebec offers far more than its share in welcoming refugees entering the country illegally. Since the beginning of the year, almost all of RCMP’s interruptions (7,013 out of 7,049) have been made in Quebec.
In a word, Roxham has become a highway that everyone can enter.
According to the provincial, 72% of those who take this route are in Quebec.
Without forcing anyone to board the buses, there will definitely be a way to facilitate their delivery to other provinces by setting up reception structures. Tension can be reduced only if it is political.
Said not to be an alarmist. Crossing a hundred people a day in Roxham can seem like a lot. But Quebec is still not Poland, Turkey, Lebanon or Colombia, countries that know what the real waves of refugees are.
At the same time, Ottawa also needs to address the root causes of the problem. We know the Safe Third Country Agreement signed between Canada and the United States, which allows refugees to cross border crossings. If they appear, they will be automatically repelled.
We have already written: this situation is not ideal for anyone and to enter through the window instead of welcoming guests to the door.
Ottawa is in talks with Washington to review the deal and remove this incentive to bypass border crossings. This can be done by tightening the conditions at Roxham or by allowing admissions to regular posts.
But the discussions were lengthy. We clearly understand that the Biden Administration is far from giving priority. The influx of immigrants, after all, goes from the United States to Canada, not the other way around.
But Ottawa’s role is to persuade its partner that the situation has persisted for a long time and to bring about the necessary pressure for immigration to go through official channels again.
What is happening on Roxham Road, Ottawa has homework to do both short and long term. Otherwise, every spring is doomed to bring back the same questions and the same discussions.