A new Reuters/Ipsos poll, conducted March 8-9, 2016 and released on March 20, 2017 revealed that Canadians are just as concerned about illegal immigration as their American counterparts, with nearly half of all Canadians (48 per cent) believe that migrants who illegally cross into Canada from the United States should be deported back to the US, while 36 per cent want the refugees to remain in Canada and be granted refugee status.
An almost identical number of Canadians (46 per cent) disapprove of the way Prime Minister Trudeau is handling the ongoing migrant influx from the US, while 37 per cent approve. 41 per cent believe illegal migrants crossing from the United States into Canada will make Canada less safe, 4 per cent said they will make it more safe and 46 per said there is no difference.
When asked whether taking in refugees from Syria will make Canada more or less safe from terrorism, only 5 per cent said it will make it more safe, 36 per cent said less safe and 50 per cent said there is no difference.
69 per cent of 1,001 Canadians polled either “strongly” or “somewhat” agree that the issue of migrants crossing into Canada from the United States should be a top priority for the Government of Canada, while 26 per cent either “somewhat” or “strongly” disagree.
According to The Government of Canada, 2,595 asylum claimants who did not claim asylum at designated Citizenship and Immigration Canada offices were intercepted by the RCMP in January and February of 2017.
The illegal border crossings into Canada increased shortly after President Trump signed an executive order suspending the admission of refugees to the United States for four months, prompting Trudeau to tweet “To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada”.
An Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Global News on November 7, 2016 – one day before the US elections – revealed that three-quarters (76 per cent) of 1,700 Canadians surveyed said they would consider voting for a candidate with “Trump-like” qualities, including stricter immigration control, reviewing trade agreements to ensure they are in Canada’s best interest and getting tough on crime.
Ilana Shneider is the co-editor of CIJnews and the founding executive director of Canada-Israel Friendship Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the mutually beneficial, long-standing diplomatic, economic and cultural ties between Canada and Israel. She can be reached at [email protected]