Canada: Reduced illegal border crossings among Bill Blair's success stories - PressFrom - Canada
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CanadaReduced illegal border crossings among Bill Blair's success stories

13:57  12 july  2019
13:57  12 july  2019 Source:   montrealgazette.com

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Reduced illegal border crossings among Bill Blair's success stories© Allen McInnis When cannabis was legalized in October,

A near-50 per cent reduction in illegal border crossings and dismantling the multibillion-dollar black market for cannabis in Canada are two things Bill Blair, federal minister of border security and organized crime reduction, is proud of this year.

The Montreal Gazette sat down with the Scarborough Southwest MP and former Toronto police chief Thursday during his trip to Montreal to attend a CBSA College graduation ceremony in Rigaud.

The border

Blair estimates the number of people illegally crossing the Canadian border has been reduced by nearly 50 per cent since last summer. He attributes the decrease to the implementation of three significant changes.

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Border Security. Along US Borders . Border Patrol History .

Illegal entry is the act of foreign nationals arriving in or crossing the borders into a country in violation of its immigration law. Human smuggling is the practice of intermediaries aiding undocumented

The first change is an increased investment in services to process refugee claims, raising the number of annual files processed from 24,000 last summer to an expected 50,000 by the end of this year.

There are also regulatory changes in the law, prohibiting people from making a claim in Canada if they’ve already made one in the United States, and vice versa.

Lastly, he cites the success of informing communities from which Canada receives many refugee claimants on how the process works. He said there was a misconception among certain communities that Canada presented a free pass to permanent residency.

“It’s at about 40 (people crossing the border) a day, and for a country of Canada’s size, with a 9,000-km border, that’s 40 for the whole country,” Blair said. “It’s still not ideal, and we’re still working hard to manage it, but it’s a significant improvement and it has brought the current movement of people into Canada within manageable levels.”

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Share This Story . Crossing the border illegally was far easier 22 years ago, when the migrant, now 37, first came to the U. S . as a 14-year-old. Increased border security and an increased chance of prosecution are among the factors cited in the 90 percent decrease of successful illegal crossing of

Blair ’ s work will be supported by the departments of Public Safety, Immigration and Foreign Affairs, the Blair will also focus his efforts on reducing the smuggling of opioids across the border Trade among provinces is the focus of Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc’s mandate letter.

Blair said that during the surge in illegal border crossings in 2017, most occurred at the Roxham Road entry point in Lacolle, Que.

He attributes border debates among Canadians to a question of fairness, rather than one of fear.”I am very comfortable, confident, that the safety and security of Canadians has always been maintained at our border by our officials, but there is an issue of fairness. … I think, quite understandably, Canadians want the system to be fair,” he said. “They’re not afraid of these people. They just want it to be fair. And I think we’re working really hard to make sure that the system is fair and well managed.”

Blair said the process of bringing refugees into Canada is a balance between fairness and compassion. “We have a compassionate system that if someone is fleeing war and persecution, we’re not going to put them more at risk.”

Cannabis

“Marijuana production and trafficking is the easiest money organized crime ever made in this country,” Blair said, estimating the industry was making approximately $8 billion per year prior to legalization.

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The IRCC statement added that Bill Blair , the minister of border security and organized crime reduction , has This undated surveillance photo provided by U. S . Customs and Border Protection shows people illegally crossing the United States border from Canada near Derby Line, Vermont.

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Blair said he thinks Canadians are overwhelmingly in favour of making “a legal choice,” referencing a Statistics Canada report that states nearly 47 per cent of adult Canadian cannabis users purchased the product legally in the first three months of 2019.

“That’s several billion dollars that organized crime doesn’t make this year,” he said. “I think most Canadians would choose to do something in a legal way, as long as it’s competitive in price, quality and choice.”

Blair said he expects the system to improve as time progresses.

“One of the most important things for me, last Oct. 17 we stopped criminalizing another generation of young Canadians,” he said. “Those criminal records were affecting the quality of people’s lives, their future and their potential, and it was disproportionately impacting poorer communities, racial communities and Indigenous communities. So, we fixed that. And I’m proud of that.”

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