Illegal immigration costs exceed Old Age Security by ten times: report

Room and board for illegal immigrants is costing an average $224 per day, according to new immigration data. By comparison, Old Age Security pays recipients $26 daily.

Illegal immigration costs exceed Old Age Security by ten times: report
AP Photo/Edgar Hernandez Clemente
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The Trudeau Liberals spend 10 times more accommodating illegal immigrants daily than they do on benefits for senior citizens.

Conservative MP Lianne Rood requested the figures, which cabinet disclosed in an inquiry of ministry. Rood asked, “With regard to the government’s provision of goods and services to irregular border crossers seeking asylum, what items are provided to entrants at the time of crossing?”

Room and board for illegal immigrants is costing an average $224 per day, according to new immigration data. By comparison, Old Age Security pays recipients $26 daily.

The typical hotel stays amounted to $140 per day, with food costing $84, per reporting from Blacklock’s Reporter.

The inquiry said accommodating illegal immigrants “ensures [they] are treated with compassion and efficiency while preserving the integrity of the immigration system.” 

In an interview with the NPR program Freakonomics, Immigration Minister Marc Miller earlier boasted Canada’s population had reached 40 million.

“So you’re California now?” asked the host. “Yes, basically, without the vineyards — well, maybe a couple,” replied Miller. “British Columbia might disagree.”

“This is about sustaining Canada,” he said. “That is not doable without people coming in from abroad.”

Minister Miller then minimized the impact of illegal immigration on Canadian taxpayers. “Geographically it’s difficult to reach Canada,” he said.

In a separate March 27 interview, Miller called illegal immigration a minor issue. “Canada prides itself on the value of our differences and the diversity,” he said.

Parliamentarians have been repeatedly stonewalled by Liberal members of Parliament on the costs incurred by taxpayers. “We finally have those numbers and they are staggering,” Conservative MP Larry Maguire earlier told reporters.

The Budget Office in a 2018 report Costing Irregular Migration Across Canada’s Southern Border said federal expenses averaged $14,321 per illegal immigrant. Costs were as high as $33,700.

“Per migrant costs are projected to rise over time,” wrote analysts. “This is largely due to longer projected wait times for migrants to complete the entire asylum claim process.”

The total cost of illegal immigration for local authorities, school boards, food banks and charities has not been calculated. 

“Claimants in department-operated hotels regardless of how they entered Canada are provided with accommodation and meals once they are relocated,” reads the report. “Service providers are contracted with the department to oversee operations.”

Room and board for illegal immigrants cost $769 million last year, according to December 7 testimony at the Senate national finance committee.

“There are two mechanisms of funding,” said Nathalie Manseau, chief financial officer for the immigration department. 

Interim lodging sites, or hotels, cost at least $557 million. “We still have a few months in the year, so it’s anticipated spending,” she said.

The interim housing assistance program, intended to reimburse municipalities, cost $212 million. Nearly $100 million went to municipalities in the Greater Toronto Area, claimed Manseau.

“Where are you putting these people?” asked Senator Larry Smith. “Leases with the different hotels,” replied Manseau.

“How long do people stay in these facilities?” asked Senator Smith. “It varies from a few weeks to a few months,” replied Manseau.

Illegal immigrants primarily entered Canada through Québec, but have also come through Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia.

“Provincial budgets have been stretched thin and are now in the hundreds of millions of dollars to pay for social services,” said Maguire. 

“Cities have declared housing emergencies, homeless shelters are full, and millions have been spent on hotel rooms,” he added.

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