This seems to be in the news a lot lately, and it’s a question I’ve spent considerable time thinking about over the years.
On the subject of refugees, I do think that we, as a society, do have a duty to help genuine refugees, particularly if we helped create them. On the other hand, I see no overpowering reason why we should make an effort to tolerate, let alone support, people who aren’t refugees but can’t be arsed to follow the (arduous) legal immigration process.
So that prompts the question: when someone comes to Canada seeking asylum, are they a refugee or an illegal immigrant? And to me, the answer is straightforward: look at where they arrived from. If they arrived from a war/disease ravaged shithole, they may well be a refugee. If they did not arrive from such a place, they are not a refugee.
The ramification of this is that people who leave their country and bunny hop across Europe and the Americas to get to Canada are simply not refugees. They are illegal immigrants. Yes, Canada is hard to get to as a refugee because we’re surrounded by cold, oceans and the United States, none of which are at war or producing vast numbers of refugees.
Nevertheless, if you can get a boat and come straight to Canada, you might be a refugee. If you stop in the USA and sneak across the border, as far as I’m concerned, you’re not a refugee because the USA is not a country whose situation produces refugees. Your refugee claim belongs there. If you leave Syria for Greece, then meander across Europe before stowing away on a container ship and jumping off in Halifax, you’re not a refugee. You ceased being a refugee when you set left Greece and became simply an illegal immigrant.
And illegal immigrants should be deported.