Trudeau Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen doesn’t like the term “illegal border crossers” when referring to people who cross the border illegally.
Hussen commented on complaints Monday from the new Conservative government in Ontario that is dealing with an escalating influx of illegal refugees who are arriving in Toronto and filling up all available shelters, including university dorms.
As the Canadian Press reports, Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s office said “illegal border crossers” are not only taking up housing but have become “threats to services that Ontario families depend upon.”
At a Monday news conference in Halifax, Hussen objected that kind of language, insisting the asylum seekers were merely “irregular border-crossing between ports of entry.”
“I’m very concerned by Premier Ford … making statements that are difficult to understand when it comes to how they’re describing asylum seekers,” Hussen told reporters.
Although the minister acknowledged that it is illegal to cross the border at a port of one’s own choosing, he insisted, “These are people who we have a legal obligation to give a fair hearing to, and so we’re applying Canadian law — we’re applying international law — and that requires all levels of government to work together.”
But Ford’s office disagrees, with spokesman Simon Jefferies sending an email to Canadian Press that states “this mess was created by the federal government, and the federal government should foot 100 per cent of the bills.”
As far as terminology goes, Jefferies says it is the Trudeau government that is using deliberately using language to obfuscate Canadians.
“It is disturbing that the federal government is deliberately confusing legitimate refugees with illegal border crossers. Frankly, they know better,” he wrote.