Most Canadians said they want illegal immigrants crossing into Canada from the U.S. deported, a similar number disapprove of how Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is handling the influx, the report said on Monday.
It said that a significant minority, four out of 10 respondents, said the border crossers could make Canada “less safe,” underlining the potential political risk for Trudeau’s Liberal government.
It said that the increasing flow of hundreds of asylum-seekers of African and Middle Eastern origin from the U.S. in recent months has become a contentious issue in Canada.
“There has been broad bipartisan support for high levels of legal immigration for decades in Canada.
“However, Trudeau has come under pressure over the flow of the illegal migrants; he is questioned about it every time he appears in parliament.
“He is being questioned from opponents on the left, who want more asylum-seekers to be allowed in, and critics on the right, who say the migrants pose a potential security risk,’’ the report said.
It said that Canadians appeared to be just as concerned about illegal immigration as their American neighbours.
According to a research by Reuters which was conducted between March 8 and 9, some 48 per cent said they supported “increasing the deportation of people living in Canada illegally.”
For graphics on asylum process, immigration poll see when asked specifically about the recent border crossings, the same number 48 per cent said Canada should “send these migrants back to the U.S.”.
Another 36 per cent said Canada should “accept these migrants”.
In the U.S., where President Donald Trump was elected partly on his promise to boost deportations, 50 per cent of adults supported “increasing the deportation of illegal immigrants.
Illegal migrants interviewed by Reuters in Canada said they had been living legally in the U.S. and had applied for asylum there.
However, they fled for fear of being enmeshed in Trump’s immigration crackdown. (Reuters/NAN)