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Canada Needs to Seal Illegal Crossings at US Border

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

PARIS -- You'd think it would be a no-brainer that anyone showing up at a country's border would only be able to enter at the discretion of that country, and that they would have to do so at a legal checkpoint. A nation's sovereignty is partly determined by its ability to defend itself from invasion. And what else would you call massive, organized groups of non-citizens attempting to crash the border outside of official checkpoints?

U.S. President Donald Trump clearly recognizes the importance of strong borders and vetting procedures to ensure America's security. It's hard not to notice the price paid for doing otherwise when just a few days ago here in Paris, yet another naturalized individual originating from a known terrorist hotbed started knifing people in the middle of one of the city's busiest tourist districts, killing one person and injuring several others before being shot and killed by police. This time, the terrorist hailed from Chechnya in the North Caucasus region, where Russian President Vladimir Putin's security forces have long been attempting to crack down on Islamic terrorism while leftists whine about his efforts to do so.

France, America, Canada, Germany and other Western nations are ripe for exploitation of their goodwill. Citizens of these countries are constantly cautioned against conflating "migrant" and "terrorist," as tends to happen when someone whose country of origin is synonymous with terrorism stages an attack. Meanwhile, anyone who refuses to conflate "migrant" with "victim" is labeled an incorrigible bigot.

Trump doesn't seem fazed by these semantics. He had no qualms about recently ordering Department of Homeland Security officials to block a caravan of about 1,500 mostly Central American migrants from entering the U.S. after traveling through Mexico. And Trump has repeatedly expressed frustration with judges who have ruled against his attempts to curb illegal immigration.

However, Trump is now imposing a similar immigration burden on America's northern neighbor -- and unsurprisingly, Canada is being far too nice about it.

With Trump terminating the temporary protected status of foreign nationals from countries synonymous with insecurity and violence earlier this year -- including about 262,000 Salvadorans, 86,600 Hondurans and 5,300 Nicaraguans -- Canada has faced waves of migrants trying their luck farther north rather than returning home. In the first quarter of this year, approximately 7,500 asylum seekers crashed Canada's border between legal checkpoints, where they were nonetheless met by kindly police officers and taken for processing.

You can't blame Trump for trying to make bad U.S. immigration policy another country's problem, much like you can't blame a guy at the bar for taking a shot at asking you out. But that doesn't mean you have to leave with him.

What's mind-boggling is that Canada is so willing to roll over and let Canadian taxpayers bear the brunt of poor choices made by previous American governments. If Trump was wagering that Canadians would be too nice to defend their borders, it was clearly a winning gamble.

Canada has been trying to remedy the situation through "outreach." In other words, by imploring foreign migrants to understand that Canada is a country of laws and borders. Canada just sent its immigration minister to Nigeria -- yet another country whose citizens are crossing illegally into Canada from the U.S. -- to plead for better understanding.

It's clear that many illegal immigrants aren't getting the message. Maybe it's because instead of getting blocked at the border, they're welcomed and given government benefits for as long as they remain in limbo. How long is that, exactly? According to the Canadian government website, the wait for an applicant is 19 months for an initial assessment and 10 more months for a final decision on citizenship.

Canada's Conservative Party is recommending that the entire U.S.-Canada border be designated an official entry point in order to eliminate a technicality in the Safe Third Country agreement between the U.S. and Canada that allows immigrants to play asylum roulette between the two countries if they avoid entering at an official checkpoint.

Canada needs to stop playing nice and start acting. Send the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to the border to defend it. At some point, Trump would presumably notice the buildup of immigrants on America's northern border after they're denied entry into Canada. It would be fun to watch Trump make the case to Canada that it has to sacrifice its own sovereignty in the interests of protecting America's.

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