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Editorial: Helter shelter

Darlene Perkins (left) and Diane Peck of the ABCDS Refugee Sponsorship Group. Peck said they came because ““We have a family we’ve supported from Syria, and we’re feeling the pain along with them. We want to show that we love them – that everybody loves them.”
Darlene Perkins (left) and Diane Peck of the ABCDS Refugee Sponsorship Group. Peck said they came because ““We have a family we’ve supported from Syria, and we’re feeling the pain along with them. We want to show that we love them – that everybody loves them.”

Was it prudent for Montreal to declare itself a sanctuary city this week?

Does it present more problems than solutions for this country and for non-status immigrants?
Montreal has joined other Canadian cities, including Toronto, Hamilton, London, in permitting undocumented refugees full access to local services regardless of their situation.
Now the trend has reached Atlantic Canada. This week, Fredericton Mayor Mike O’Brien said he’s considering declaring the New Brunswick capital a sanctuary city.
But here’s a word of caution. In our rush to help, are we unwittingly jeopardizing the security of immigrants, slowing their path to citizenship, adding substantial costs onto Canadian taxpayers and possibly letting criminals slip through? The answer to these questions is yes.
Refugees are heading north, seeking asylum because they fear wholesale roundup and deportation if they remain in the United States following President Donald Trump’s crackdown.
It’s almost impossible to shut the door on such human misery.
But our compassion is encouraging the trickle at our borders to become a stream. It could become a flood. It will stretch resources in the region when we don’t have a plan to properly deal with the refugees we have now.
Since November 2015, Canada has welcomed more than 25,000 Syrian refugees — an emergency response to help people fleeing civil war and bloodshed. In fact, over the past decade, this country has opened its doors to more than 250,000 immigrants a year. Obviously not all are fleeing for their lives. Many are here because they have jobs and places to live.
Refugees are here because they are desperate — fleeing due to war, discrimination, religious or political persecution. Some are here illegally; Montreal has 50,000 undocumented immigrants now.
The city’s sanctuary motion could backfire.
Sanctuary cities get in the way of government supports. They delay legitimate refugees from getting on the path to citizenship.
The federal government is sensitive to the plight of refugees, and most provinces feel the same way. Let’s co-operate instead of throwing up roadblocks.
Illegal immigrants are becoming a daily issue at Manitoba and Quebec border checkpoints. Regular media coverage of refugees walking through snowstorms to reach Canada reflects the fact that we have a growing problem.
Of course we should help the oppressed, but creating false sanctuary only slows down the process to citizenship. Sanctuary cities want to help, but what they actually do is stall the process.
Canada is synonymous with the notion of inclusion. Let’s build on that, instead of making mistakes that might cause us harm in the future.
The immigration process that is in place protects the interests of Canadians and refugees. Let’s not sideline that process with knee-jerk reactions.
It might feel good in the short term, but skirting proper screening channels could also potentially open up our country to harm.

Does it present more problems than solutions for this country and for non-status immigrants?
Montreal has joined other Canadian cities, including Toronto, Hamilton, London, in permitting undocumented refugees full access to local services regardless of their situation.
Now the trend has reached Atlantic Canada. This week, Fredericton Mayor Mike O’Brien said he’s considering declaring the New Brunswick capital a sanctuary city.
But here’s a word of caution. In our rush to help, are we unwittingly jeopardizing the security of immigrants, slowing their path to citizenship, adding substantial costs onto Canadian taxpayers and possibly letting criminals slip through? The answer to these questions is yes.
Refugees are heading north, seeking asylum because they fear wholesale roundup and deportation if they remain in the United States following President Donald Trump’s crackdown.
It’s almost impossible to shut the door on such human misery.
But our compassion is encouraging the trickle at our borders to become a stream. It could become a flood. It will stretch resources in the region when we don’t have a plan to properly deal with the refugees we have now.
Since November 2015, Canada has welcomed more than 25,000 Syrian refugees — an emergency response to help people fleeing civil war and bloodshed. In fact, over the past decade, this country has opened its doors to more than 250,000 immigrants a year. Obviously not all are fleeing for their lives. Many are here because they have jobs and places to live.
Refugees are here because they are desperate — fleeing due to war, discrimination, religious or political persecution. Some are here illegally; Montreal has 50,000 undocumented immigrants now.
The city’s sanctuary motion could backfire.
Sanctuary cities get in the way of government supports. They delay legitimate refugees from getting on the path to citizenship.
The federal government is sensitive to the plight of refugees, and most provinces feel the same way. Let’s co-operate instead of throwing up roadblocks.
Illegal immigrants are becoming a daily issue at Manitoba and Quebec border checkpoints. Regular media coverage of refugees walking through snowstorms to reach Canada reflects the fact that we have a growing problem.
Of course we should help the oppressed, but creating false sanctuary only slows down the process to citizenship. Sanctuary cities want to help, but what they actually do is stall the process.
Canada is synonymous with the notion of inclusion. Let’s build on that, instead of making mistakes that might cause us harm in the future.
The immigration process that is in place protects the interests of Canadians and refugees. Let’s not sideline that process with knee-jerk reactions.
It might feel good in the short term, but skirting proper screening channels could also potentially open up our country to harm.

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