According to an article
in the Canadian press, some Mexicans (presumably illegal aliens) are fleeing the U.S. and heading to Canada, where they have been informed by some organizations and websites that they can claim refugee status.
Canadian immigration officials, however, are trying to discourage it:
"Canadian immigration authorities are spreading the message that Canada does not give preferential treatment to illegal Mexican refugees in an effort to counteract misinformation that has sent scores of migrants sneaking across the border from the United States. As the U.S. cracks down on illegal immigrants, organizations and websites there are `providing false or misleading information on how to claim refugee status in Canada,` reads a fraud warning posted on Citizenship and Immigration Canada`s website.The warning notes there are no special programs or preferential treatment for Mexican nationals and that people should be wary of groups making such claims.
Citizenship and Immigration ministry spokesman Mike Fraser blames refugee organizations in the U.S. and says
"Canadian officials have met with refugee organizations in the U.S. to urge them to stop spreading misleading information."
Eddie Francis, mayor of Windsor, Ontario (which is actually south of Detroit, see map
says 200 Mexican refugees (at last count) arrived to his city in one week, and Mayor Francis is already concerned about their effect on social services:
"The surging number of migrants will likely `shatter` the city`s social services budgets, Francis said. Windsor`s emergency shelters don`t have enough space to cope with those who have crossed into the city so far, so they are being put up in hotels, he said. Housing the refugees has already used up $200,000 - or 20 per cent - of the city`s annual $1-million emergency shelter budget, Francis said.Another 32 out of 55 refugees who have applied for social assistance have been approved, costing the city another $32,000."
Mayor Francis says Mexicans think they don`t have to worry about the migra
"The overarching message that`s being communicated is that here in Canada you don`t have to worry about the immigration authorities cracking down on illegal immigrants."
But actually, Canada is not accepting every single refugee claim, says the article:
"From January to June of this year, more then 3,000 Mexican refugee claims were referred to the refugee board. Of the 1,123 claims that were finalized in that period, 13 per cent were accepted."
So see, says Mayor Francis:
" `Maybe if we have these hearings and they`re dealt with, people will see that it`s not as easy as they think it is,` Francis said."
But don`t misunderstand the Windsor mayor:
"Francis said he`s not trying to send the refugees out in to the cold, but stressed the city can`t handle the strain. `I empathize with them,` he said, `but they`re being fed wrong information down in the U.S.` "
Maybe they should just come back to Mexico.