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article imageMexicans trying to enter Canada detained in record numbers

By Arthur Weinreb     Mar 18, 2017 in World
Canada has detained more Mexicans trying to enter the country so far in 2017 than have been taken into custody in each of the past three years. The increase is believed to result from Canada no longer requiring visas for Mexicans and Trump's policies.
According to a report issued by Reuters yesterday, the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) has detained 444 Mexican nationals entering or attempting to enter Canada between Jan. 1 and Mar. 8, 2017. This number exceeds the yearly total for Mexicans taken into custody for each of the previous three years. In 2016, 410 Mexican nationals were detained during the entire year. Similarly 351 and 399 Mexicans were detained by the CBSA in 2015 and 2014 respectively.
People entering Canada are detained if Canadian officials are unsure of their identity, if there are doubts they will report for immigration hearings or removal if required or if it is decided they pose a danger to the public.
The increase in detentions are attributed to two factors; Canada removing the necessity of Mexicans to obtain visas to visit Canada and the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president.
On Dec. 1, 2016, the government of Canada announced Mexicans would no longer require visas to come to Canada as of that date. The reason given for the decision was it would improve tourism from Mexico and encourage air travel between the two countries. It was also done to facilitate business, trade and investment between the two countries.
Although Mexican nationals no longer need visas to enter Canada, they are required to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) to come to Canada. According to Reuters, 72,450 ETAs were issued to Mexicans between Dec. 1, 2016 and Mar. 10, 2017. Unlike a visa, an Electronic Travel Authorization can be obtained online.
In addition to the Mexican nationals actually detained by the CBSA, another 313 were refused entry at airports.
The Toronto Sun reports Mexican nationals made 156 claims to be Convention refugees so far in 2017. This compares to 15 such claims made during the first two months of 2016. Most refugee claims made by Mexicans in the past have been unsuccessful.
The previous Conservative government imposed visas on Mexico in 2009 as a result of the numerous refugee claims being made by Mexicans. Of the almost 10,000 refugee claims made in 2008, only about 10 percent of these claims were successful.
One of Donald Trump’s major campaign promises during both the Republican primaries and the general election concerned illegal immigration from Mexico and elsewhere. Trump promised he would build a wall across the southern border to keep illegals out and also promised to crack down on those already illegally in the United States.
In another exclusive published yesterday, Reuters reported the Department of Justice is sending more immigration judges to 12 major American cities to help speed up deportations of illegals who have been charged with criminal offences. These cities, including New York, Miami and San Francisco, were chosen because of their relatively high percentage of illegal immigrants who are convicted criminals or who are facing criminal charges.
The reassignment of immigration judges is consistent with an executive order signed by Trump in January. That order made illegal immigrants facing criminal charges priorities for deportation notwithstanding they have not been or may not ever be convicted.
In interviews conducted by Reuters with Mexican nationals it appears Canada is replacing the United States as the country of choice for those who do not want to live in Mexico.
More about Canadian border services agency, mexican asylum claims, Donald trump, Deportation, mexicans entering canada
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