Nigerians Crossing the U.S.-Canada Border

By: Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local NewsWhile U.S. President Donald Trump is complaining about the Mexican government not doing enough about the Central American refugees crossing through Mexico to get to the U.S.-Mexico border, it seems the U.S. government is turning a blind eye to the growing number of Nigerians who go through the United States and then wait at the U.S.-Canada border to cross into Canada to claim refugee status. While the Canadian government cannot refuse them once they are in Canada as their final destination and then claim refugee status, the Canadian government is calling upon the United States to stop issuing U.S. visas to Nigerians since the Nigerians are not using the U.S. visas to stay in the United States. Since Trump became president, the U.S. immigration process for allowing people into the United States to claim refugee status has become more complicated and now many people who might have actually qualified for refugee status are being forcibly removed from the United States by U.S. immigration.

To Canada’s credit, they are not turning the Nigerians away at this point. Canada’s laws for taking in refugees is a good one. However, they cannot do this indefinitely and they know that if Nigerians know that Canada will allow them in then more Nigerians will go through the United States to Canada. So the Canadian government is asking the United States to stop or severely restrict issuing U.S. visas to Nigerians. This is not without precedent. President Trump himself has stopped or greatly restricted issuing visas to people in dominantly Muslim countries, and he himself has called on Mexico to halt the number of Central American refugees from going through Mexico to the U.S.-Mexico border. I guess Trump does not care if people from another country go through the United States to Canada. He seems to think it is Canada’s “problem.” It seems Trump has trapped himself in a double standard. Either he should change the visa rules for Nigeria or he should help Canada with the refugee problem he has helped create, or Canada will be forced to deal with the situation by rejecting the number of Nigerians who try to cross into Canada.

This seems to already be happening. Haitians, who have also tried to cross into Canada from the United States because they cannot find asylum in the United States, are now finding themselves being increasingly deported by Canadian authorities. In fact, the Canadian immigration authorities have rejected three-quarters of all the Haitians who have applied for asylum in Canada. I suspect that eventually the Canadian government will be doing the same for the Nigerians.

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