Conservative Party of Canada leadership candidate Kevin O’Leary is blasting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s open-door refugee policy as “a burden” to the people who are trying to process “real refugees.”
The “Shark Tank” star and cross-border entrepreneur told The Daily Caller on Wednesday: “We all have sympathy given the images we are seeing of people trekking through snow and cold, but let’s be clear: this is not how immigration should be done,” O’Leary said.
“We need to consider the risk to Canada’s safety and security and acknowledge how this puts an additional burden in processing real refugees that are feeling persecution and risk of death. These people have entered Canada illegally; they should be returned to the U.S. to follow the proper processes, and Trudeau must close the loophole in the Third Party Agreement immediately.”
Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said Tuesday that the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement remains in force — but this treaty only requires that Canada return illegal refugees who try to cross at official border crossings.
A group of 200 law professors signed a letter this month that urges Hussen to withdraw Canada from the agreement, claiming that President Donald Trump has made the U.S. unsafe for refugees and his administration exemplifies “the very bigotry, xenophobia and nativist fear-mongering that the international refugee regime was designed to counteract.”
Trudeau continues to defend his open-border policy, stating in the House of Commons, “One of the reasons why Canada remains an open country is Canadians trust our immigration system and the integrity of our borders and the help we provide people who are looking for safety.”
“We will continue to strike that balance between a rigorous system and accepting people who need help,” he said.
That’s meaningless rhetoric, says Conservative public safely critic Tony Clement who notes “the situation at the border is only going to get more acute as the weather gets warmer and this government has absolutely no idea what to do about it.” Clement told The Daily Caller that the government needs to immediately “apply the law and increase resources for border security,” as well as presenting a plan that works for the people living at the border who are increasingly infuriated by the influx of “asylum seekers.”
The number of people making refugee claims at Quebec-U.S. border crossings more than doubled from 2015 to 2016. Last month, 452 people made claims in Quebec compared with 137 in January 2016.
O’Leary said the Liberals have no long-term plan to deal with the refugees.
“The Trudeau government has made a big issue of helping those fleeing from conflict zones, but we have yet to hear from the PM about those still in Syria, Iran, Libya, Sudan and other countries. And only after pressure from the Conservatives has Trudeau said he will be bringing in 1,200 Yazidis by the year’s end,” he said.