Justin Trudeau's no-action tweet offering help to refugees harmed by Trump's #MuslimBan created chaos

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/04/07/promises-promises.html

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Canada has an agreement with the USA that prevents refugee claimants that the US rejects from trying again in Canada before being deported back to their home countries where they face imprisonment, torture and death.

The US was once a beacon of liberty, and it was safe to assume a refugee we would reject must be one bad hombre.

It is no longer safe to assume. It is time to renegotiate that agreement.


Observers at the time noted that Trudeau’s tweet was long on feel-good rhetoric, short on meaningful action

In Trudeau’s defense, the world sorely needed to hear some feel-good rhetoric from North America in January of 2017. The problem was more about format, because a world leader using Twitter to convey major policy positions involving complex matters is always a terrible idea even when the sentiment is a noble one.

Conservative politicians would go on to blame the tweet for encouraging an uptick in irregular crossings by asylum seekers at the Canada-U.S. border, particularly in Manitoba and Quebec.

Yeah, it was all about the tweet. Nothing changed at all south of the border.


Trudeau is the master of empty rhetoric. He was supposed to be so much better than the previous guy, but it turns out to be only in appearances.


Oh Canada…


More proof that Twitter is a lousy way to make policy. However this sort of thing will continue because getting a quick rush and popularity blip from noble (or, in many cases, ignoble) words is one of the foundations of modern politics.


Being Canadian, I’m always curious how like-minded happy mutants perceive Canada and its politics.

What does the World think of this Trudeau character? My feeling he’s superior to his predecessor Steven Mr Robot Harper - whatever that’s worth.


Australian here. I don’t know much about Harper but others seem to think he is a bit of a right wing nut. Trudeau has fame but I get the impression he may be short on skills for getting stuff done.

So in that sense Harper was Canada’s Abbott. Trudeau is Canada’s Whitlam.

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Whitlam’s troubles were not all due to Whitlam.



So the message to Muslim migrants is to head for Canada first.


Both Trudeau and Whitlam are/were constrained in their actions by their countries relationships with the bigger players. I would add Russia to the obvious examples of the UK and the US.

But I do think that Whitlam, despite being a great thinker and speaker, lacked management ability. Whitlam and Turnbull have both had to deal with deputies who behaved badly (Jim Cairns and Barnaby Joyce). Turnbull seems to have a steadier hand, IMHO.

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Okay. I can speak a LOT about this issue, as I work directly with some populations in Ontario (my field: homelessness - people who enter Canada first and then request asylum are supported through the homelessness sector, i.e. locally). I will start by explaining the system a little as best I can (again, I work in the periphery, not at the centre of this issue). Disclaimer: IANAL, etc.

The tweet led to a HUGE increase in the number of asylum-seekers finding ways to enter Canada. Once you request asylum, there are two options: (1) the person you are explaining your story to decides if your story is valid enough to make this request for asylum - if no, then your claim is denied and you get sent back (I’m don’t know enough of this exact moment if there are appeal options or anything); if yes, then you are designated a “refugee claimant.” As a refugee claimant, you can get social assistance, work permits, etc. - and start looking for housing and settling down - until your hearing date comes up. At that point (hopefully with the help of a lawyer), you will be able to make your case: If you lose, you can appeal, which will take some time. If you win, then you become protected persons and can apply for permanent residency if you want.

In Canada, because of the HUGE increase in asylum-seekers, the immigration and refugee board is significantly backed up, which is causing delays in how long the cases are taking. They’ve started trying to make some of this a little bit easier - for example, if there people who are claiming asylum from some countries where it’s really well known what the situation is, they can (in most cases) get their claim done faster without the need for a hearing:

Re: safe countries (like the United States). Yes, this is really annoying. There are a couple of loopholes, though. (1) Someone seeking asylum who comes from one of the so-called “safe” countries can’t claim that the “safe” country’s GOVERNMENT is the reason that they are seeking asylum, but for other reasons of safety (their community is unsafe, they’re being attacked by the mob, etc.) and (I believe, but am not 100% positive) that their government cannot assist with protect. I know of at least a few people whose refugee claims were accepted even though they were from one of the so-called “safe” countries; (2) If asylum-seekers try to enter Canada through the United States (without trying to seek asylum in the States first), then they can still claim refugee status and even win their case.

The lack of resources that have been put in to help asylum-seekers has been dreadful. As the articles below outline, there have been some increases in funding to help process asylum-seekers when they first make their claim for asylum and a little for the immigration and refugee board - but very little support/funding for the local governments who are responsible for the homelessness sector and have to deal with the reality of providing the support to make sure that people are safe and cared for and settled.

See also (read the actual articles, they are more informative than the headlines):

The tl;dr - we have a huge number of asylum-seekers in Canada right now, more than ever before. Some funding put into the processing, but less so for the care/settlement support that’s needed. Some asylum-seekers can still have their claims accepted even though they are from the so-called “safe” countries.

If you have specific questions, I can try to answer them


The agreement in question dates from 2004. The US was last a beacon of liberty, what, maybe a hundred years ago?

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Yeah, he’s a babe. But he still wants to drill the tar sands. And this.

About a hundred years ago, America had the first red scare and a wave of lynchings due to the revival of the Klan.

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