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EDITORIAL: Close Roxham Road

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Why does Prime Minister Justin Trudeau always invite illegal immigration to Canada at Roxham Road? It has to stop.

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The Quebec-New York State entry point is not an official crossing. But what started as a dirt road that a few fraudsters used to sneak around the country turned into a full-fledged operation under the Trudeau government.

It’s a sight to behold: RCMP officers on site, vehicles and physical structures in place – all for an illegal border crossing. The feds aren’t there to fire people. They’re there to play welcome cart, per Trudeau’s orders.

This happens because of a technicality that says that although it is illegal, once you have entered Canada illegally, you can claim asylum and then stay until your claim is heard.

Canadians are compassionate people who believe in welcoming asylum seekers and refugees. But this process only makes a mockery of the system and is an insult to all refugees and immigrants who have come to Canada through the proper channels.

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On Wednesday, Quebec Premier Francois Legault asked Trudeau to close the crossing. He said the province does not have the capacity to handle the thousands of asylum seekers awaiting hearings.

Trudeau refused to budge. “If we close Roxham Road, people will cross somewhere else,” Trudeau told reporters. “We have a huge border, and we’re not going to start arming it or putting fences on it.”

This is dishonest politics. For starters, it’s fair to say that putting up a fence rather than friendly RCMP officers helping you through would definitely deter a few people.

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But, more importantly, the data does not support Trudeau’s comments.

A decision was made in March 2020, at the start of the pandemic, that anyone attempting to cross at Roxham Road would be turned away. The number of illegal ferries then dropped dramatically, from around a thousand a month at the time (although 2017 was a record month that saw 5,500 ferries) to just a handful.

This continued until November 2021, when the numbers increased after the crossing reopened. The latest tally – March this year – shows 2,492 people crossed illegally at Roxham Road that month.

It proves that if Trudeau wanted to end it, he could. Why isn’t it? He should.