Aug 7 2017: A group arrives at the illegal crossing point into Quebec. Last year, most were Haitians who had spent years in the U.S but now didn't want to be sent back. Recent migrants are arriving from Nigeria on temporary U.S visas and travelling directly to the border. Photo: Charles Krupa-AP

American pamphlets discovered encouraging illegal entry to Canada

It was discovered just this past weekend that a pamphlet is being distributed at American hotels and bus terminals near the Canadian border giving advice for migrants to cross illegally into Canada. Politically this is called “irregular” crossing into Canada.

An American group in the town of Plattsburgh N.Y, which apparently seeks to help refugees is distributing the pamphlet.

A Quebec Member of Parliament is calling for the federal government to do something about it.  Louis Plamondon represents the federal riding of Becancourt-Nicolet-Sorel.


Mr Plamondon says some residents of his riding went to spend the weekend in the United States, and found the pamphlet at their hotel in Plattsburgh and said it was also in other hotels and motels in the area.

Louis Plamondon at a scrum in Parliament, Feb. 2018. Photo: Canadian Press

It gives migrants the number for local taxi companies and the amount they should charge from Plattsburgh to a well-known illegal crossing point.

It also points out that if they try to cross at the official border crossing point they will be turned back, possibly jailed, and deported.

In April, Quebec sent a bill to the federal government for $146 million dollars to cover costs associated with housing and feeding the thousands of migrants who have crossed illegally into Canada,  The federal government said it has already allotted $74 million to defray some of those costs.

Over 7,000 so far this year

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police figures show there were over 7,600 illegal entries to Canada in the first four months of this year, 7,300 of them crossing into Quebec from Plattsburgh.

The American pamphlet advising on how to enter illegally into Canada.

Recently many asylum claimants are coming from Nigeria with temporary visas for the U.S. but then immediately travel by bus to Plattsburgh and then by taxi to the border.

Plamondon suggests the federal government should immediately send out its own pamphlets to counter the American one, but more than that should be talking firmly with the American government to prevent illegal entries, such as granting short-term visas, which are likely only to be used to get to the U.S before immediately heading to Canada.

Reverse of American pamphlet widely distributed in Plattsburgh hotels and bus station, near the border with Canada

He also says the Canadian government should contact or have some American agency contact the American group to speak with them about encouraging illegal crossing.

He says however, the government continues to talk about how it is working on the situation, but says its all talk and no action. He says illegal migrants are jumping the queue. Regular immigrants sometimes have to wait two or three years for approval, but now word is spreading that you can go the illegal crossing route and bypass all normal procedures.

There have long been suggestions that entries will increase dramatically in the coming months.

Last weekend, there was a face-off gathering of socialist-leftist pro-migrants, and a counter gathering of others opposing illegal entry. While loud, there was no clash, although well-known leftist agitator Jaggi Singh was arrested for having organised a blockade of a nearby highway.

Well-known activist Jaggi Singh was arrested at a pro-migrant demonstration near the illegal crossing point this past weekend. Photo: Graham Hughes- CP

Categories: Immigration & Refugees, International, Politics
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