Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made a point of setting himself and his country in opposition to Donald Trump's calls for tightening border security and clamping down on illegal immigration. So is Canada standing by Trudeau's virtue-signaling, "pro-immigrant" pronouncements? Not like Trudeau and his Liberal Party would have you believe. In 2016, Canada turned back more Mexican immigrants than it had in several years combined. Those Mexicans who are allowed to enter the country, as Reuters notes, often end up deeply "disappointed" when they find that "tough border checks, hard-to-find jobs and fine-tuned enforcement policies mean it can be hard to enter and harder to stay."
In February, amid a dramatic uptick of immigrants into Canada, apparently due to the "Trump Effect," Trudeau vowed to continue accepting asylum-seekers.
"We will continue to accept refugees," he told parliament. "One of the reasons why Canada remains an open country is Canadians trust our immigration system and the integrity of our borders and the help we provide people who are looking for safety."
Trudeau shelved the visa requirement for migrants in December, and quickly saw the number of Mexicans seeking to get into the country triple, as Reuters highlights:
Seven immigration lawyers, consultants and activists told Reuters that requests for legal advice from Mexicans who had entered Canada since Dec. 1 had roughly tripled compared with the same period in 2015-2016, while Mexico's Canadian consulates are also receiving more requests for help.
Between December and late February, Canada has granted more than 61,500 eTAs (Electronic Travel Authorization forms) to Mexicans, about triple the number of quarterly tourist applications received in the year before the visa requirement was scrapped, official Canadian data shows.
Meanwhile, in the first two months of 2017, flight bookings from Mexico to Canada spiked a stunning 90 percent. Reuters notes that it's "unclear what percentage of those bookings were made by people looking to work illegally in Canada."
But the reality in the increasingly leftist country is not as "open" as Trudeau would like the world to think. As Reuters puts it, the numbers show that in Canada, it's "hard to enter and harder to stay":
But tough border checks, hard-to-find jobs and fine-tuned enforcement policies mean it can be hard to enter and harder to stay. [...] Many Mexicans believe the eTA is all they need to set up in Canada, but in almost all cases they are wrong, immigration lawyers said. The eTA does not even guarantee entry.
Even if they get past the airport, many low-skilled Mexicans hoping to work illegally are likely to be disappointed, lawyers said, noting that it's difficult for those entering on tourist visas to get work permits without an employer's sponsorship.
Then there are the number of Mexicans that Canada has turned away over the last few months. In January alone, Canadian authorities turned back more Mexicans than it had over a full year in 2012 through 2014. Over the course of 2016, the government turned away more Mexicans than it had in several years combined. Below is a graph provided by Reuters showing the dramatic uptick in Mexicans turned away: