The Conservative Party of Canada is demanding the federal government take more concrete action in addressing refugee claimants crossing the border illegally from the US.
Dozens of refugees have crossed into Emerson, Man. and rural Quebec since the election of Donald Trump.
Officials have been arresting the migrants and transporting them to processing centres, where they receive an official hearing date to determine if they can stay in Canada.
Public Safety Critic Tony Clement appeared on 650 CKOM’s Gormley to discuss the situation Tuesday morning.
“There’s a lot of things that are wrong with this right now,” he said.
“You can’t have two streams of refugees – one where people are waiting patiently through the regular channels, and another stream where they just walk across a farmer’s field.”
Clement said the government either needs to provide RCMP border patrols with the tools necessary to enforce Canada’s border rules, or change the rules altogether.
“As the weather warms up, this is only going to get worse,” he said of the crossings. “It’s not going to go away.”
The longtime MP also suggested the claimants could be exploiting a loophole in refugee law.
He said the “safe third country agreement” that disallows refugees from claiming status in Canada after landing in the US only applies to those who try to cross through a designated point of entry.
“They are already in Canada and can get a claim that way,” he said. “Is it a gap? Perhaps.”