By Joan Janzen
Sometimes there’s more going on than we can see with our natural eye, and this funny story is a perfect illustration.
When a man, who was driving down the road, was pulled over, he asked, “What’s wrong officer?”
“Nothing at all,” replied the cop. “I was impressed with your safe driving and I am giving you a $5000 safe driving award. Now, what do you think you’ll do with the money?”
The driver answered, “Well, I guess I could finally get my license.” The woman in the passenger seat piped up, “Just ignore him, officer. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about when he’s drunk like this.”
The guy in the back seat said, “I told you guys we wouldn’t get far in a stolen car!!” Just then there was a muffled voice from the trunk asking, “Are we over the border yet?”
That funny little story leads me to the longest, undefended border in the world that lies between Canada and the United States. One of the illegal entry points is between Quebec and New York State and this is how the migrant’s journey begins …
Wanna-be refugees arrive by Greyhound bus at Plattsburgh, New York, located about thirty miles south of the Canadian entry point. Once exiting the bus, there’s a line up of cabs waiting to deliver them to the border. These cab pick-ups are often arranged in advance. Some cab companies offer special services for border jumpers, which include ensuring the migrants have all their paper work in order, and notifying contacts on the Canadian side to ensure their customers will be accepted. This is all done for a fee, ranging from fifty dollars to over two hundred dollars for each individual.
Once the cab drops their customer off at the illegal entry point, they are temporarily detained by RCMP officers, who inform them they are at an illegal entry point and will have to go to the official border crossing, or they will be arrested. This appears to be more of a formality than a threat, because every one of the taxi passengers insists they cannot proceed to the official border crossing, and willingly hand themselves over to the RCMP. After that the migrants are taken across the border where they go through the procedure to gain illegal entry into Canada and become refugees.
Some of the migrants are leaving the United States because they are there illegally, while others choose to come to Canada because it’s a welcoming country. If you’re asking how this is possible, well … here’s the answer. Canada is a signatory to the United Nations Refugee Convention, so those who sneak through the border at an unofficial point of entry can legally make a claim here, and they won’t be prosecuted for the illegal entry. There are however politicians who are calling on the federal Liberals to use Article 10 of the Safe Third Country Agreement to close the existing loop hole allowing people who walk across the border to claim refugee status. In the mean time, transporting migrants and getting their paper work in order, has become a lucrative business venture across the border.
So you see, the joke I told earlier when the man in the trunk asks “Are we over the border yet?” looks a lot like our border crossings, except the illegal migrants to Canada are sitting in the back seat of cabs asking their driver, “Are we there yet?”
Unfortunately this isn’t a joke, but a true story happening right here in our own country.