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What is the Right Term for the Border Crossers of Canada?

By September 10, 2018 May 25th, 2022 No Comments

A recent increase in the asylum seekers of Canada who are crossing Canada-U.S border have led to the discussion about what to call them. Some of the people have to say that they are illegal immigrants. While on the other hand other people refer to irregular crossing because of the entries that happen away from the official border points.

The representative in Canada for UN High Commissioner for the refugees says that people should not be qualified as illegal. They are actually regular arrivals.  They might enter irregular. However, there is nothing irregular when you are crossing an international border in order to claim an asylum.  It is very clear in the act of The Immigration and Refugees Protection Act that it is also applicable to the people who transit through some other country.

Conservative MPs have to say that the act of crossing the border is quite illegal. This is an offence under the custom’s act.  This is the reason this is the term that they are going to use.

It is illegal to enter Canada a non-official point of entry. There is no debate regarding whatsoever. The problem arises from the fact that people are coming, illegally crossing the border. Thereafter, they claim the asylum. The officials will not be able to do anything about since the people are allowed to claim the asylum in Canada if when they have entered the country illegally.

The Debate

The law is quite specific when it comes to this. It states that when a person comes through irregular or regular crossing for seeking asylum they are actually doing it as per Canadian law of section 133 of Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

The Immigration Minister has explained that the reason he has used both regular and irregular for describing the border crossing which happen in between the official point of entry.

Any person who crosses the Canadian border from United States in between the port of entry is surely committing an illegal act. However, when the person claims the asylum, the charge stays pending for determining his/her refugee claim.

Once a person is on the Canadian soil, the charge of crossing irregularly will stay pending prior to the determination of the asylum claim.  A spokesperson for the Public Safety mentions that Canadian law is consistent with the United Nation Convention on Refugees. This indicates that the refugees entering illegally to look for the asylum shouldn’t be penalized if they are presenting themselves to the authorities. In case the refugee claim has been denied, the failed claimant has to leave Canada. As a matter of fact, the claimants might have to face charges for the other crimes. Each of them is assesses for national security and criminality as they are stopped on the northern side of the border.  The prosecutors decide whether they will lay the charge. Anyone who is convicted to the crime can be sentenced to ten years or more than ineligible claim of asylum in Canada.

In between January to July 2018, around one percent of the asylum seekers who have entered in an irregular way have been charged with a criminal code defenses.  There is no charge against claimants who have entered Quebec irregularly. However, who entered Canada irregularly have been removed but the claim of large majority is still being processed.