Liberal and welcoming Canada is warning us to “keep a wary eye” out for shady third-world tourists. A new “Nigerian scam” is behind the request for more scrutiny, issued by Canadian officials. According to Ralph Goodale, applicants from several barbaric republics have been scamming U.S. embassies out of tourist visas, then making “a beeline for the Canadian border.” The travel documents are being used, he says, only “as vehicles to get into the United States.”
As Canada drowns under a third-world nomad flood, officials are learning just how quickly an immigration problem can get out of hand. Their asylum system bogged down to a crawl and the Canucks are scrambling to shut the valve. The recent G7 interior ministry summit, held in Ischia, Italy, served as an excellent opportunity to work out “joint steps” with America, to stem the tide.
Goodale, Canada’s Minister of Public Security and Civil Protection, had a chance for some direct private discussion with our DHS representative, Secretary Elaine Duke, at the conference. “We have asked them to go back upstream and examine the pattern of these travel documents being issued and how come the people to whom they were issued appear to have had no intention of staying in the United States.”
Duke seems open to the polite request. Goodale reported to his followers at home, “Secretary Duke was very receptive to the suggestion.” Adding, “the U.S. is also looking at putting up signs at irregular crossings on its side of the border with messages to dissuade those seeking asylum in Canada. They’re examining what they can do to communicate.”
Goodale did not name any specific countries as culprits but Nigeria is one bright blip on Canadian radar. Another big concern is Haiti. Reports indicate Goodale asked us to “consider alerting Canadian authorities when the U.S. is about to make policy decisions that would affect the border, in order to give agencies such as border services time to prepare.” That request comes on the heels of a border breach between New York state and Quebec.
When the Trump administration announced that after this year, Haitians would no longer be a class protected from deportation, a steady stream of taxis and buses started dropping off migrants. Thousands arrive each month since the location of the unofficial gate went viral on social media.
Nigerians are also using the Roxham road crossing. One group of twelve from the impoverished African nation arrived by Greyhound at a gas station in Plattsburgh, New York. From there they took one of the taxis that circle the bus stop like sharks, ready to pick up a quick $1,500 to zip migrants off to the border. “We call them runners. They come up from Manhattan. They’ll charge 1,500 bucks per cab.”
Aisha is a single Nigerian mom with her four kids. Together, they left Philadelphia by bus then took an expensive 30-minute cab ride to the dead-end road. “we’ve been hearing about this,” she says. Aisha yearns for refugee status on the other side, especially for her daughters. “I left Nigeria with frustration. In Africa, they want them to go to Arabic school. At a tender age, they will give them to a man. I don’t want that to happen.”
By August, things were so out of hand that rainbow-sock-wearing Prime Minister Trudeau actually started myth-busting efforts to “tamp down expectations.” The reason the Roxham Rd. crossing is so popular is because of a loophole in Canadian law. The “Safe Third Country Agreement” spells out that if a migrant crosses into Canada from the U.S. at an “official” port of entry, they are not allowed to apply for asylum in Canada. They were supposed to have done that in the U.S.
By crossing elsewhere, an exception allows them to apply on the spot. Canada has been forced to send reinforcements to the area, where they run a welcome station and shuttle service to the tent encampments and stadium that have been designated temporary housing.
Out of 13,000 claims for refugee status filed so far this year, only 300 have been processed. Out of those, only 150 have been granted asylum. Meanwhile, the ones in limbo get either work permits or public assistance. Before this Summer’s spike, the processing time was around 16 months. Now it will drag into years. “The strain on the organization to handle this many people is enormous,” complains Shereen Benzvy Miller with the Immigration and Refugee Board.
Making things even worse, claims can’t be decided until all the paperwork is ready. IRB official Anna Pape says the biggest reason for the delay is “based on the readiness of the claims to proceed to a hearing and our capacity to hear them.” An important part of that readiness is verifying just who the applicant really is.
Canada’s IRB website posts a bulletin with the title, “Nigeria: Prevalence of fraudulent national identity cards; state efforts in response, including effectiveness (2014-October 2016).
The overview says, “Nigeria lacks a comprehensive database for its citizens as 75 percent of the available identity documents are fake or self-issued.” The Nigerian government has been working with Mastercard to develop a fully secure biometric ID. So far, less than 1 percent of the country’s citizens have one. The ones that do, got it by presenting a handmade ID card or a forgery as “proof.”
One attorney in Lagos writes, “the old national identity cards remain a valid identity validation exercise until the new Identity Management System has made the required penetration in Nigeria.” Then adds, “fraudulent registration was possible under the old identity card regime as registration was basically manual.”