Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Opposition Motion Calls for Action to Stop the Flow of Illegal Border Crossings

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Opposition Motion Calls for Action to Stop the Flow of Illegal Border Crossings

Article excerpt

Opposition wants action on illegal migrants


OTTAWA - As an influx of illegal border crossings by asylum seekers continues to cause pressures in Quebec, the issue is creating mounting tensions between the Liberals and Conservatives in the House of Commons.

The Trudeau Liberals and the Opposition Conservatives blamed each other Tuesday for problems caused by a spike in refugee claimants entering Canada illegally from the U.S. -- an influx that does not appear to be slowing down.

"This has been an issue for well over a year, but this prime minister has failed to take any concrete steps to address the situation," Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said.

"Meanwhile, families here in Canada who are waiting to be reunited with a loved one or refugees facing real danger have to wait longer because of the government's inaction. Why?"

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau countered that lengthy delays for processing refugee claims were caused by a cut in funding to the Canada Border Services Agency by the former Conservative administration of Stephen Harper.

"I think people will be forgiven for rolling their eyes when the Conservatives talk about supporting refugees or accelerating process for family reunification. Their cuts left us with significant backlogs," Trudeau said.

"They tried to get rid of backlogs by using the delete button."

The issue dominated Tuesday's debate in the Commons, thanks to an Opposition day motion from the Conservatives calling for a plan to be tabled by May 11 to stop the flow of border crossers coming into Canada at unofficial entry points in Quebec and Ontario.

Conservative immigration critic Michelle Rempel accused the government of simply throwing money at the problem of irregular migration rather than coming up with a demonstrable plan to make it stop.

"This is the second summer that we're going into a potential immigration crisis without a plan, and certainly we expect the government to do better. …

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