The United Nations charges Canadian border officials are summarily sending refugee claimants back to the United States in breach of Canada’s duty to let them seek asylum. In the latest incident five refugees from Haiti and El Salvador were sent back from the Lacolle Que. border point. Two of these people were later detained by American authorities.
Another bizarre incident at the border involves the head of an American ecumenical group, Janet Hinshaw-Thomas, the niece of Washington Cardinal Avery Dulles. She was arrested at the Lacolle station where she was assisting 12 Haitians seeking refugee status in Canada. She has been working with refugees since 1984. Miss Hinshaw-Thomas was charged by the Canadian authorities with trafficking in humans, held in jail over night and she is scheduled to appear in court on November 30. Cardinal Dulles has defended his niece’s actions and has offered to come to Canada and testify on her behalf.
The Canadian Council of Refugees says these incidents “strengthen the impression that the Canadian government is becoming increasingly hostile to refugees and unwilling to uphold its international commitments.”
Is this the kind of refugee policy you would be comfortable supporting?