Feature

Canada: Easy asylum is easily exploited

Last week, nearly 500 ethnic Tamils from Sri Lanka arrived by ship in British Columbia and promptly claimed asylum, said Adrian MacNair in The National Post.

Adrian MacNair
The National Post

We Canadians are fed up with refugees taking advantage of our lax asylum policy, said Adrian MacNair. Last week, nearly 500 ethnic Tamils from Sri Lanka arrived by ship in British Columbia and promptly claimed asylum. Canadian authorities are now scrambling to feed and house them and give them medical care. Nearly two-thirds of Canadians surveyed say the boat should not have been allowed to dock here, and even more say the Tamils are probably not proper refugees at all. The civil war in Sri Lanka, after all, has been over for more than a year.

Even if these people were fleeing strife, why didn’t they go to nearby India instead? The answer, of course, is that Canada is a notoriously easy place to claim asylum. Toronto already has “the largest expatriate Tamil community in the world.”

But at this point, we’re starting to chafe at the cost of “our benevolent philanthropy.” I’m not saying that “true escapees” should be turned away. “Should the odd refugee from the Congo stumble across our border in dire need of protection, it would behoove us to have the compassion to help.” But we simply can’t afford to absorb boatload after boatload of the world’s poor. It may sound “heartless,” but it’s really “common sense.”

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