Residents of upstate New York are actively assisting migrants illegally cross the border into Canada.
As the Washington Post reports, the activists are supplying people — supposedly seeking asylum from the United States — with food, clothing and support. They even call their assistance network an “Underground Railway,” in tribute to the clandestine operation that ferried slaves from the South to abolitionist enclaves in New York and Canada.
Those facilitating the illegals’ journey to Canada, via the Quebec border, say this is no different than assisting the draft-dodgers who fled to Canada to avoid service in the Vietnam War.
“We view this as our Underground Railroad,” Carole Slatkin told the Post. Moving migrants across the border from Esssex, New York, Slatkin says she is following a higher calling. “While no one is being flogged, and no one is being sold, there is this sort of modern-day equivalent of feeling like people are in danger.”
But Canadians increasingly see themselves in an illegal immigration crisis and many do not appreciate the efforts made by Americans to help the illegals cross the border.
A poll released Friday shows two-thirds of Canadians now believe the illegals pose a “crisis” at the border. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is now paying to bus illegals to Toronto, where they are being accommodated in hotels.
“To me, it’s just being abusive,” Paul Viau told the Post. As mayor of the tiny agricultural township of Hemmigford, Viau has witnessed the influx of illegal border crossers.
“There are people who sympathize with [the immigrants] and people who have a harder time with it. But no one appreciates that someone would pack them up and bring them to the border at an illegal crossing.”
Many of those crossing the border fear deportation from the United States but are not prepared to seek asylum in a legal manner, instead crossing at a remote location on the New York-Quebec border that has been the site of more than 50,000 illegal border crossings in the last year.