Haitian illegal aliens in the United States whose Temporary Protected Status (TPS) amnesty is set to expire are streaming north into Canada. The New York Times reports that almost 800 "asylum seekers" crossed into Quebec in June (though not all were Haitian), about 1,500 in July, and more than 200 each day now. Montreal's Olympic Stadium is filling up with them, and the Canadian army is expanding a refugee camp it set up at the border.
The Haitians are leaving not just due to a general fear of the Trump Monster but because they might actually become the first sizable population of illegals whose "Temporary Protected Status" amnesty will actually be allowed to expire. The original grant of TPS (which comes with a work permit, Social Security number, driver's license, and more) was in 2010 because of Haiti's earthquake. The status is for people (mostly illegals, but also some temporary visa holders) whom we don't want to immediately deport because of natural disaster or civil strife at home.
Like all other grants of TPS, Haitians' 18-month status was routinely renewed several times, most recently in May. (The number of Haitians who are covered is estimated at 46,000 – and an estimate is all the government reports.) But the statement accompanying this most recent renewal sought to restore the "temporary" to TPS; it is only for six months and was intended to "allow Haitian TPS recipients living in the United States time to attain travel documents and make other necessary arrangements for their ultimate departure from the United States."
This is what has prompted the exodus to the north – Haitians fear that, this time, they really will have to either go home or turn back into regular illegal aliens, unlike all previous TPS populations, mainly from Central America, whose status is automatically renewed regardless of home country conditions. To avoid either option, they're trying their luck in Canada, with its notoriously lax asylum system and its callow and foolish Prime Minister.
You can see why they'd think Canada would be worth trying:
To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 28, 2017
And the mayor of Montreal tweeted in French: "The City of Montreal welcomes Haitian refugees. You can count on our full cooperation." And he added in Haitian Creole (according to the WaPo translation), "Don't give up."
And it's not just virtue-signaling tweets by politicians; from the Times: "Although they are formally arrested, the migrants get temporary papers, a bus pass and a monthly government stipend of up to 900 Canadian dollars (about $705), which can help pay rent while they wait for their refugee claim hearing."
This is even more generous than the invitation Obama extended to Central Americans surging into Texas, and that fueled increased illegal immigration.
Trudeau doubled down last week, saying, "I think the message is very clear that Canada is a country that understands that immigration, welcoming refugees, is a source of strength for our communities." But officials in his leftist government are starting to squirm as they face the consequences of their policies, and the potential political fallout.
We have a Safe Third Country agreement with Canada designed to prevent "asylum shopping" by illegal aliens – i.e., if you're in either country, you have to apply for asylum there, rather than try your luck in the other. We entered that agreement 15 years ago as a favor to Canada, but there's a loophole – only illegals who present themselves at a port of entry are covered. Illegals who sneak across the border still get to apply. And that's what the Haitians are doing.
Some Canadians took exception to my tongue-in-cheek tweets earlier today offering helpful advice to Haitian illegals thinking about self-deportation:
Amis haitiens! Get a photo of yourself at one of the border markers before crossing to your new life in Canada! pic.twitter.com/ZdOLVvagPD
— Mark Krikorian (@MarkSKrikorian) August 11, 2017
But if Canadians is unwilling to send border infiltrators back, that's on them. The only easy way out for the Trudeau government would be if the Trump administration caves in January and yet again renews the Haitians' "temporary" amnesty. It will be an important test of the White House's commitment to ending business as usual in immigration policy. Stay tuned.