The Trudeau Liberals are pondering several measures to prevent Mexican nationals from entering Canada and seeking asylum under false pretense.
Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc told CBC News on Sunday that he and the Department of Immigration is looking for "the appropriate way to ensure that people who arrived from Mexico arrived for the appropriate reasons." Their aim is to ensure "this doesn’t become sort of a side door to get access to Canada."
"We’re looking … to ensure that these flights directly from Mexico don’t become sort of an indirect way to get access to Canada and to claim asylum," added LeBlanc.
Québec Premier François Legault urged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last week to address its crisis at the border, amid a growing number of Mexican nationals applying for asylum in the province.
"Mexican nationals represent a growing proportion of the asylum seekers arriving in Quebec, the possibility of entering Canada from Mexico without a visa certainly explains part of the flow of asylum seekers," he said.
Québec has expressed grave concerns over the pressure asylum claimants have placed on housing and healthcare, claiming their services near a "breaking point." The province accepted 39,171 people who entered Canada via Roxham Road in 2022.
While the number of illegal immigrants entering Canada by land has fallen precipitously since Roxham Road closed last March 24, thousands more now arrive by air, mainly at the airports in Toronto and Montreal.
Since last May, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) processed no less than 3,420 applications at "air points" in Québec since last May, including the Montreal-Trudeau Airport — dubbed the "new Roxham Road."
Legault said the closure of Roxham Road only "momentarily" slowed the flow of migrants. "The number of people arriving on a visitor visa and applying for asylum is also increasing significantly," he noted.
Canada accepted 15,000 asylum seekers from Central and South America in exchange for the closure of Roxham Road last March, effectively closing a loophole under the Safe Third Countries Agreement with the United States.
Still, Legault holds reservations on the legitimacy of these asylum claims. "The airports, particularly in Toronto and Montreal, are becoming sieves and it is time to act," he added.
Despite the closure of Roxham Road last March 24, the RCMP told Rebel News that human smuggling remains a concern along the U.S.-Canada border. "It has been conveyed that the Mexican cartels are in human smuggling operations in Canada," confirmed RCMP spokesperson Sergeant Charles Poirier.
"Although we have information that the Mexican cartels are in Canada, and are operating, we don’t know if they’re behind all the human smuggling operations," he said.
As first reported by Radio-Canada, criminal entities have established migration routes for illegal immigrants to enter Canada under a shroud of secrecy.
The RCMP received a five-page document from the Biden Administration detailing how Mexican cartels and "organized criminal groups" to the south have established a stronger foothold in Canada. These networks also smuggle contraband into the country through these routes, such as drugs, tobacco and firearms.
"We have investigations ongoing that are looking into these organized networks," Poirier told Rebel.
"Because of the lucrative nature, it’s probable that organized crime is behind some of those smuggling operations. But the investigations will reveal that in due time," he said.
Before the RCMP demolished its final building along Roxham Road last September 25, U.S. border agents reported 6,100 illegal immigrants attempted to enter Québec that year alone — exceeding their combined total from the previous decade.
According to one Québec mayor, transport workers took illegal immigrants roughly 25 minutes north to Roxham Road before its closure from New York State, where they walked across the Canadian border to seek asylum.
"I got the impression that it is extremely lucrative for certain people — like for the buses and taxis in Plattsburgh that travel to Roxham Road," St-Bernard-de-Lacolle Mayor Estelle Muzzi told the National Post.
RCMP officers exposed a growing number of illegal immigrants who had arrived at the crossing by way of Florida. First they fly into the U.S. and then pay hundreds of dollars to take a minibus for the long drive north to Roxham Road.
Muzzi considers this a form of "human trafficking."