Illegal x 2 = Refugee?
September 20, 2007 1:43 PM   Subscribe

"The fact someone wants to come here for better economic opportunity or a better quality of life ... that's no basis for a successful refugee claim." That's not the Minutemen talking, but rather Canadian Immigration Refugee Board (IRB) spokesman Charles Hawkins. Over the past three weeks, approximately 200 illegal immigrants from the U.S. entered Canada at the Detroit River crossings and applied in Windsor for shelter and social assistance. So far, no cries of racism or xenophobia against the Canadians for defending their borders.
posted by CameraObscura (32 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: hobbyborse elsewhere? look, if something really interesting is going on, super, but this just seems to take a topic in the US and say "look, the Canadians aren't being total fucks about it" which is not that surprising, given Canada's outlook generally, so I guess I'm saying, what's your point? -- jessamyn



 
Canadians like to have their nannies and housekeepers the old fashioned way: illegaly. Ah, tradition!
posted by basicchannel at 1:50 PM on September 20, 2007


... and your point is?

Of course, enforcing one's stated immigration rules doesn't make one racist, but one can still be a racist or xenophobe while very enthusiastically enforcing those rules.
posted by bl1nk at 1:56 PM on September 20, 2007


There's no racism involved: it's all about the colour of money.

New Canadians have to be wealthy (accepted as contributors to the economy) or desperate (accepted out of compassion) -- the middle ground need not apply.

My new sister-in-law is a Chinese import, and I was floored by the staggering amount of money she had to have at her disposal in order to be given her papers. Also, I know a fellow from central America who got in because he was being hunted by his govermment for speaking up too loudly about the fact that his government hunts people down. He has impressive scars.

Lastly, in reference to basicchannel, none of the nannies I've ever met (or been nannied by) were illegal immigrants. Are you speaking from personal experience, or just guessing?
posted by CheeseburgerBrown at 1:57 PM on September 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


Of course, enforcing one's stated immigration rules doesn't make one racist, but one can still be a racist or xenophobe while very enthusiastically enforcing those rules.

I hope you're not actually implying that the lax immigration laws of the U.S. which have allowed millions to enter illegally for decades are enthusiastically enforced (smirk).
posted by CameraObscura at 2:01 PM on September 20, 2007


Canada is perhaps the most evil country in whole world.
posted by srboisvert at 2:03 PM on September 20, 2007 [4 favorites]


There is a huge difference between the police enforcing the border and vigilantes, with numerous and documentedties into white supremacist groups. But then again, cameraobscured, there's also a big difference between U.S. Citizens going up into canada and Mexicans going to land that was originally Mexico or, for that matter, Latin Americans leaving countries that have been ravaged by wars funded and orchestrated by the U.S. government before being economically assaulted with the poverty wages of U.S. sweatshops. Or are we supposed to just respond to your strawman about the lack of racism charges?
posted by history is a weapon at 2:10 PM on September 20, 2007


I hear Sweden is nice this time of year, why not go there?
posted by blue_beetle at 2:12 PM on September 20, 2007


"The fact someone wants to come here for better economic opportunity or a better quality of life ... that's no basis for a successful refugee claim."

But add some Canadian bacon to a burrito and whalaaa!
2 ....2 tastes treats in 1!
posted by doctorschlock at 2:12 PM on September 20, 2007


the middle ground need not apply.

Uh, no... I believe the policy is that they have to apply in their home country and wait in line like everyone else. Which is the same as the rich folks. You can't just show up and expect to get treated like someone on the run from, say, a death squad.

The real criminals are the "consultants" who mislead people about their chances of being granted refugee status.
posted by GuyZero at 2:15 PM on September 20, 2007


there's also a big difference between U.S. Citizens going up into canada and Mexicans going to land that was originally Mexico

Oh wow, are we gong to play the "Who was here first?" debate. That should be lovely (rolls yes).

It's amazing how only America's immigration policy is so evil for defendig its borders, and yet another nations get a free pass.

Sorry, i don't have a ticket for that guilt trip.
posted by CameraObscura at 2:16 PM on September 20, 2007


no moreso than the staff at your average Registry of Motor Vehicles, who have been blithely crushing the automotive dreams of thousands of teenagers who fail their driver's test are racist even if many of the people that they deny are black.

Cops who pull over a disproportionate number of black drivers, though ...

One is judging an individual by the basis of a test or set of requirements and objectively seeing them fail. The other is an individual choosing to investigate or prosecute another person for a variety of motives, one of which can be based on prejudiced.

Again, I must ask if you have a point to your post.
posted by bl1nk at 2:18 PM on September 20, 2007


"So far, no cries of racism or xenophobia against the Canadians for defending their borders. "

That's because everyone knows that Canadians are all white, regardless of skin color.
posted by klangklangston at 2:19 PM on September 20, 2007


I am shocked that Americans have not made strong comments on tiny details of Canadian immigration policy. That sure proves, uhhhh, whatever your point was.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:23 PM on September 20, 2007


"The fact someone wants to come here for better economic opportunity or a better quality of life ... that's no basis for a successful refugee claim."

Does anyone claim the opposite in the U.S.?

I believe in open borders, but I don't think wanting a better standard of living makes someone a "refugee."

So is this a post about semantics? It seems a bit like a troll. Perhaps rephrase and add supporting info? The first link is pretty slim. (If it's a "potential crisis" surely someone else is covering it or commenting on it ...) Too bad no more "flag as noise" - have to flag as "breaks guidelines" I guess.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:26 PM on September 20, 2007


New Canadians have to be wealthy ... or desperate

So its not enough to not speak French anymore?
posted by StickyCarpet at 2:26 PM on September 20, 2007


I am shocked too, no LA Times or New York Times editorials, no outcries from La Raza, no parades/protests, no outcry for the President of Mexico, and not even a newsletter from Human Rights Watch.
posted by CameraObscura at 2:27 PM on September 20, 2007


Over the past three weeks, approximately 200 illegal immigrants from the U.S. entered Canada at the Detroit River crossings and applied in Windsor for shelter and social assistance.

Like rats leaving a sinking ship. I can only assume that this trickle will become a flood when the Canadian Dollar - now equal to the greenback - forges ahead even further.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:28 PM on September 20, 2007


All new Canadians get their own patch of land in the Arctic Circle, guarding our diamond mines and that new lake we got. It's sort of like hazing. But you DO get all the maple products and back bacon you can eat.
posted by SassHat at 2:30 PM on September 20, 2007


Sorry, i don't have a ticket for that guilt trip.

*sigh* I see what you did there.

You made this FPP to try and show bleeding-heart American Liberals that their glorious model country, Canada, turns illegals away at the border and therefore we should too?

Two comments:

1) Thats a shitty, trollish reason to post an FPP

2) This is so flagged.
posted by Avenger at 2:33 PM on September 20, 2007


Avenger is you feel the need to censor news reports, go right ahead. As a liberal, I believe in free speech. Ideas, news reports don't threaten me. and I have every right to respond to psuedo-insults dircted towards me (which I'm sure you didn't flag).
posted by CameraObscura at 2:36 PM on September 20, 2007


GYOB.
posted by WCityMike at 2:36 PM on September 20, 2007


The dollar hits parity and the Canada-hating begins.
posted by GuyZero at 2:39 PM on September 20, 2007 [2 favorites]


The way immigration has worked in the U.S. for the last 25 years is all about money. Being a semi-functioning democracy, the people have managed to have passed laws protecting workers in the workplace if they get injured or laid off or harassed or discriminated against, not to mention requiring overtime pay and limiting working hours. The ruling class does not like this, because it costs money not to exploit labor. So, when even the lowliest American must be treated semi-decently, what is an employer to do to cut costs? Why import an uber-lower class that enjoys no protection under the law of course.

So, you have a fish stick plant in Bumfuck Mississippi and the Bumfuckians actually want $5.85 an hour to work there and they want to be able to take up to 12 weeks off (unpaid, but still) when they are sick, or they want overtime for work over 40 hours a week or they want to receive some payment when they are hurt on the job and can't work. Well, you can't sell your fish sticks to Mrs. Paul's to sell to Wal-Mart to sell to the U.S. consumer for $2.35 a box with all those costs. So what do you do? You bring in 350 illegals who don't speak English and are afraid to go to any kind of law enforcement or government agency for fear of being deported and you pay them minimum wage, but all other bets are off, because what are you going to do if I don't Pedro, call a cop? Not likely. That means if these people get hurt at work, they just send them back to the border. They get sick, back to the border. The shift supervisors want to rape the girls in the backroom, no perky sexual harassment lawsuits. These are major cost saving initiatives.

So, what happens to Bumfuck, MS? Well, the way of life that the Bumfuckians have known all their lives is gone and the town that used to contain only people that they know is now full of people who speak a language that they don't understand and have a culture that is foreign to them and have no incentive to invest in their community. Who do the Bumfuckians blame? The owner of the fish stick plant who their main street is named after and who is a deacon at their church? The politicians that thousands of fish stick plant owners all over the country have paid to have elected and look the other way while they do this, that the poor dumb Bumfuckians probably voted for because Sean Hannity gets paid lots of money by fish stick plant owners to tell them to? Or the hundreds of illiterate poor people that he may have never seen one of twenty years ago but who now make up a quarter of his town's population? So then a Bumfuckian goes out and says "These damn wetbacks are ruining my town." and they are labeled a racist.

The thing is that part of his or her motivation is probably based on race. Part of it is based on class, part on economics, part on his interest in his community or traditions or education or sense of fairness. But yes, part of it is racism. I guess that I have no point except that claiming that the motivation behind immigration reform is free from racism is as simplistic as claiming that the motivation is solely based on racism.
posted by ND¢ at 2:43 PM on September 20, 2007 [8 favorites]


this post feels like a push-poll.
posted by klanawa at 2:48 PM on September 20, 2007


Does anyone claim the opposite in the U.S.?

Not usually. At least, nobody that really matters. There are some people on both the ultra-left and the ultra-right (well, insofar as the rabid Libertarians are "right") who are all for a total open-border policy that would let anyone who wants to walk in, but nobody takes them seriously.
posted by Kadin2048 at 2:49 PM on September 20, 2007


Avenger is you feel the need to censor news reports, go right ahead. As a liberal, I believe in free speech. Ideas, news reports don't threaten me. and I have every right to respond to psuedo-insults dircted towards me (which I'm sure you didn't flag).

Oh for the love of Captain Jesus Tapdancing Christ. U R SENSORING ME!!!!!111 U R THREATNED BI MY ARTICLEZ!!!11

Please.

No, if you wanted to craft an interesting and nuanced FPP about Canadian immigration policies and how they differ from those of the United States -- including the reasons for those differences plus the pros and cons of each approach, I'd say that would be a pretty good FPP.

This? This is just Fox News-esque "EVEN GODLESS CANADIANS KICK OUT THEIR ILLEGALS, SO WHY DON'T WE? FILM AT 11!"

In short, yes, by all means, GYOFB.
posted by Avenger at 2:50 PM on September 20, 2007


[Flagged as Canadian]
posted by fandango_matt at 2:53 PM on September 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


AxeGrindFilter
posted by Artw at 2:53 PM on September 20, 2007


Nothing about this post is even a little bit interesting except for the editorializing. The CIRB is certainly right that economic reasons have never been sufficient for amnesty or refugee claims, and the actions of a state immigration agency are not comparable with those of a vigiliante hate group. From your own link:

The way Tom Tancredo talks about illegal immigrants, undocumented workers, is quite amazing and not that different from the way, say some of our Nazi groups talk for instance , about the Jews.

To give you an example of what I'm talking about, Tancredo told an audience recently that illegal aliens , "are coming here to kill me, and kill you and kill our families." That just strikes me as an amazing statement. This is from a U.S. Congressman who is describing literally hundreds of thousands of people, as crossing this border in order to kill us.

It's also obviously I think defaming the 11 million or so people who are here -- the vast majority of whom I think any sensible person understands perfectly well -- are here to make a living.

This is just propaganda. The frightening thing , as I've said, is that a lot of the worst propaganda is coming from people like Tom Tancredo, a U.S. congressman.

posted by anotherpanacea at 2:53 PM on September 20, 2007


Avenger - I say we cut to the chase and just taser him.
posted by Artw at 2:54 PM on September 20, 2007


Oh gosh Avenger, you sure told me.
posted by CameraObscura at 2:55 PM on September 20, 2007


CameraObscura -- Avenger does have a point. There are more interesting ways to compare the Canadian and American immigration models.

You could have, for instance, looked at the differing approaches that both nations have taken to accepting refugees. American attitudes towards Cuban boat people and the Canadian acceptance of Vietnamese/Laotian refugees, for instance.

You could have linked to sites describing and advising people on Commonwealth style points based residency models vs the American family-and-marriage centric residency model and prompted a conversation about which approach would be more appropriate for the present day.

You could have contrasted the current flood of Latin immigrants and how it's affected border towns in Texas and Arizona with how the Hong Kong diaspora has changed communities in Canada.

But, instead, you linked to an article that discussed how Canadians aren't pleased that a Haitian counseling center in Florida is defrauding Mexican citizens by providing them with misleading immigration information. (I mean, did you even bother to read the article that you linked?)

Your post has been so useful and thought provoking. Please continue.
posted by bl1nk at 3:04 PM on September 20, 2007


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