When I wrote about the upsurge in illegal immigration to Canada last month, I noted that the government was forced to spend nearly $200 million on increased border patrols. That came as thousands of new migrants came across the border each month to claim asylum. Today the Globe and Mail reports that the Candian province of Quebec is asking the federal government to chip in to help deal with the wave of migrants which is on track to nearly double the number that came across the border last year:
The number so far this year has tripled to 6,074 from about 2,000 during the same period in 2017 and is forecast to increase significantly this summer, Immigration Minister David Heurtel said Monday.
“Even the numbers we’re getting from the federal government show us that the situation is different, there’s going to be more asylum seekers, so we need a new plan,” he said.
Heurtel said projections suggest there will be up to 400 crossings a day this summer, compared to 250 in 2017…
The province said in addition to front-line services, there are other costs like health care and education that are stretched thin…
Quebec is maintaining its request for additional funds to cover $146 million in unprecedented expenses from last year irregular border crossers, with this year’s price tag yet to come.
There are a little over 8 million people in Quebec province so that $146 million is a chunk of change. The cost of welcoming all these immigrants is something that Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen seemed unwilling to discuss today, after he announced changes to immigration law that would make it easier for people with disabilities to seek asylum.
The changes include increasing the cost threshold for medical inadmissibility to three times the previous level — Hussen confirmed that new number would land around $19,000 — and amending the definition of social services by removing references to special education, social and vocational rehabilitation services and personal support services.
Previously immigration applicants could be found medically inadmissible to Canada based on a set of criteria that largely affected people with disabilities. Hussen said the policy the government is updating is 40 years old and the changes will take effect immediately. Most of the people who have been affected in the past are economic migrants, Hussen said…
When asked repeatedly if the federal government would compensate the provinces for the cost, Hussen waffled, saying there’s “always going to be a societal cost for inclusion, but we believe it’s the right thing to do to include people and take a holistic approach.”
Here’s a video of the press conference where Hussen repeatedly tried to sidestep the question of who was paying for all of this generosity and how. It’s an aspect of illegal immigration that we’re often not allowed to talk about but there is a cost associated with all of this. Canadians are now being asked to pay a bit more then they’ve had to in the past. If the number of asylum seekers (and thus the cost of welcoming them) continues to double every year, we’ll see how long they are willing to keep paying it.