The irony is almost too much to take on a Monday morning. Our neighbors to the north are apparently learning a lesson about the importance of border security and the problems you can run into when you lose control of those boundaries. Canada only shares land borders with one country, so if they’re having trouble of this sort the only suspect insight is the United States. And sure enough, it turns out that people are attempting to illicitly cross over into the Great White North from America. (ABC News)
Canadian police intercepted 22 people overnight near Emerson, Manitoba, for illegally crossing the border, according to police.
The small town of Emerson has become a hotspot for asylum seekers seeking refuge in Canada since the election of President Trump, who made reducing illegal immigration and decreasing the number of refugees entering the U.S. a central part of his platform.
The border town of 671 has been galvanized to help asylum seekers, as the issue has brought an influx of media attention from across the globe, according to the CBC.
All of this activity is taking place in Emerson, a tiny hamlet in Manitoba, Canada. It’s across the border from a nearly empty patch of land just north of Pembina, North Dakota. In other words, it’s not precisely the middle of nowhere but you can probably see it from there.
Before you get your hopes up too much it’s worth noting that these don’t seem to be disaffected liberals illegally fleeing the reign of Donald Trump. I mean, if they were that would be particularly idiotic. How tough is it to get into Canada? As long as you have a drivers license and your face doesn’t appear on a wanted poster inside the border patrol station you can pretty much just drive in whenever you feel like it. In this case, the perpetrators are reported as being primarily refugees from African nations (some of whom are likely in the United States illegally to begin with) who are worried about immigration law enforcement officials swooping in to scoop them up under new, more aggressive deportation policies which are expected to be put in place shortly.
Isn’t this really Canada’s problem? I mean, it’s not clear how many additional resources we should be dumping into the situation when we have so many bigger fish to fry on our own southern border. If some of our illegal immigrants, or even legal resident aliens for that matter, want to skip town for one reason or another I’m just not sure that constitutes an emergency on our part. (And if any of you disaffected Democrats want to join them I’m not going to propose additional money to put up a fence to stop you.)
All kidding aside, this is a reminder about the potential for actual problems on the northern border. It has always been ridiculously easy to cross back and forth between Canada and the United States and criminals going back to the prohibition era have made use of that fact on a regular basis. There are plenty of places where a person of even moderately good health with a pair of hiking boots from Walmart can basically stroll across the border if they feel like it. Of course, if you happen to be heading north in most of these locations, congratulations! You are now essentially in the middle of the wilderness with a hike of anywhere from 20 to 50 miles in front of you before you even get to a road. And that’s assuming you don’t manage to get eaten by a bear or trampled by a herd of angry, nationalistic moose in the process.
In closing, I will remind everyone that border security is still not a joke. We need to take these things seriously and no doubt owe a certain amount of cooperation to our Canadian neighbors. The one exception, of course, is if Justin Bieber wants to flee the country in some desolate North Dakota location. Have at it, buddy. I’ll even spring for some moose jerky to sustain you on your trip..