Last RCMP building on Roxham Road finally demolished

'Following the modification to the Safe Third Country Agreement, the number of migrants that cross through Roxham has dwindled, and our presence here is no longer necessary,' said RCMP officer, Sergeant Charles Poirier.

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Today, on September 25, the demolition of the last RCMP building on Roxham Road marked the end of an era. This building was established to deal with the influx of illegal migrants seeking refugee status. 

Sergeant Charles Poirier, an RCMP officer, stated:

The RCMP has been at Roxham since the beginning of the migration crisis that started in 2017. Since 2017, roughly 113,000 migrants were intercepted by RCMP officers.

Following the modification to the Safe Third Country Agreement, the number of migrants that cross through Roxham has dwindled, and our presence here is no longer necessary.

Roxham Road remains a current topic because illegal immigration routes have changed following modifications to the agreement with the United States. Indeed, Roxham Road, once a well-used entry point for asylum seekers into Canada from the United States, underwent significant changes following the closure of a long-standing Safe Third Country Agreement loophole in March.

This development marked a notable drop in asylum claims at this location, but it did not put an end to the complex issue of illegal immigration into Canada. In fact, asylum seekers began arriving in Canada via commercial flights, primarily landing at airports in Ontario and Quebec, including Toronto and Montreal.

This transition led to an increase in asylum claims, a phenomenon observed by the Canada Border Services Agency, which processed 4,350 claims in June, compared to 1,370 in January and 1,360 in June 2022.

These newcomers come from a wide variety of backgrounds, suggesting that the closure of Roxham Road has not deterred individuals from seeking asylum in Canada.

The challenge lies not only in the increased numbers but also in the varying methods of entry.

"We do know that people are crossing illegally from Canada to the United States. Some of these crimes are crimes of opportunity. People are using family members, members of the community, taxis, or Uber. But we also know that there are some human smuggling operations in Quebec. We have ongoing investigations because of the lucrative nature of this illegal market, and we can presume that organized crime is behind it, and that's why we're investigating," Sergeant Poirier said.

"It has been conveyed that the Mexican cartels are involved in human smuggling operations in Canada. And although we have information that the Mexican cartels are in Canada and are operating, we don't know if they're behind all of the human smuggling operations. We have investigations ongoing that are looking into these organized networks," added Poirier.

While the Safe Third Country Agreement now applies to those crossing between official ports of entry, it doesn't cover individuals who have already been in the country for at least 14 days.

Some asylum seekers have resorted to converting border crossings, often hiding from authorities for two weeks before making their claims. These covert border crossings have led to the emergence of smuggling enterprises.

Criminal entities have established secretive migration routes for illegal immigrants, enabling them to enter both the U.S. and Canada discreetly. These networks not only facilitate the passage of people but also engage in the illicit trafficking of drugs, tobacco, and firearms, posing a significant security concern.

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