Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may find himself in a more difficult position come re-election time, according to Bloomberg, because he’s had such a loose policy on allowing asylum seekers to penetrate Canada’s southern border.
Bloomberg Quint reports that Trudeau is facing a ‘backlash” in his home country for comments he made back in 2017, right after President Donald Trump was sworn into office, declaring Canada a safe space for immigrants turned down by the United States.
“To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength,” Trudeau tweeted in response to news that the U.S. would apply greater force to stemming the flow of illegal immigrants across its own southern border.
That tweet is now being featured in an anti-Trudeau commercial.
It turns out that while Trudeau may find immigration fascinating, his countrymen do not. They don’t refer to border jumpers as illegal — they prefer the more Canadian term, “irregular” — but they are concerned that the steady flow of asylum seekers, many of whom are coming through “unofficial” border crossings in upstate New York, are taxing the country’s welfare system.
“Regular” border-crossers seeking Canadian citizenship must be skilled workers, or have something to offer their new nation. Canada has a decade-long process of naturalization as well, and requires potential immigrants to routinely prove their worth to immigration officials. Asylum seekers, however, are allowed to stay in the country until their asylum claim has been adjudicated, like in the United States, but also like in the U.S., Canada often has to absorb those thousands of “irregular” immigrants seeking asylum into their welfare system.
That puts Trudeau in an odd situation politically. A full 53% of Canadians “thought the country was being too generous to people who cross the border illegally” in a recent poll. Among conservatives, the number jumps to 75%.