For many Canadians worried about the porosity of their borders, the sloppy immigration policies implemented by United States have proven their concern.
In 2017, when the U.S. President scrambled an executive order limiting the entry of foreigners from a number of predominantly Muslim countries, he did not stop to think about the repercussions that this travel ban would have on his closest North American ally.
According to a June 4 report published by the CBC, on the day Trump signed the aforementioned order, Canadian officials scrambled to figure out domestic impact by drafting 16 questions addressed to the U.S. Homeland Security Department. Just a few hours later, things got confusing at the border as landed immigrants, Nexus cardholders and even Canadian citizens were being turned away by American immigration officers.
The situation got worse a few days later as Trump posted Twitter updates that suggested he would no longer grant asylum or refuge to foreigners; this resulted in a rush of immigrants, many of them from the countries listed on Trump’s travel ban, crossing the border into Canada.
Thanks to a records request filed by The Canadian Press, the questions posed by Ottawa to the White House are now in the public record, and they asked about what should have been done to prevent the two issues mentioned above. It is now clear that Trump did not think about Canada when he signed the “Muslim ban.”
The Safe Third Country Agreement that the U.S. and Canada observe with regard to asylum seekers has been complicated by Trump’s actions, which in turn have created a new headache for Canadians to deal with as immigrants keep coming across the border.