ABC Bemoans ‘Skyrocketing’ Numbers of Refugees Illegally Immigrating to Canada

During Sunday’s Good Morning America, ABC finally became worried about “skyrocketing” illegal immigration and the strain on resources. But it was not illegal immigration into the United States they were fretting about, but that into Canada. “Illegally crossing the border, fueled by fears after recent immigration raids and uncertainty over President Trump's executive order,” announced co-anchor Dan Harris during the opening tease, “Can Canada handle this new influx?”

“Yeah, we're watching scenes of immigrants and their families, with young children, fleeing the U.S., crossing illegally, all hoping to begin the process of emigrating there as refugees,” co-anchor Paula Faris reiterated as they lead into Eva Pilgrim’s report.

The ABC reporter was standing out in the cold, somewhere in upstate New York, at a closed road that leads into Canada. “Just on the other side, the Royal Canadian Border Patrol is waiting for anyone that might come this way,” Pilgrim explained, also during the lead-in, “And there have been so many people using this to cross into Canada, they have actually carved out a path right here in the snow.”

Her report started off playing to emotions, with Pilgrim noting that there were “Families with small children making the trek on foot in the snow, dragging everything they own.” According to her, Canadian authorities are arresting people for cross but are giving aid to those who claim to be refugees.

“The number of asylum seekers illegally crossing along the Quebec border skyrocketing,” she reported, “In January, 452 incidents. An increase of 230 percent above the same month in 2016.”

There has been a very noticeable spike in people wanted to flee to Canada since the election of President Donald Trump she asserted, pointing to the Canadian immigration website crashing on Election Night. “Now, uncertainty across the country, fueling fear after recent immigration raids and continued debate over the president's executive order banning refugees from seven majority Muslim countries,” Pilgrim continued.

Towards the end of her report, Pilgrim seemed grateful that Canada was so welcoming and touted the prime minister. “Canada allowed nearly 40,000 Syrian refugees into their country in the past year,” she said, “In a joint news conference, with President Trump, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promising that Canada will remain open.” 

Transcript below: 

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ABC
Good Morning America
February 19, 2017
8:00:50 AM Eastern

[Tease]

DAN HARRIS: Canada crossing. Immigrants in limbo, heading north. Illegally crossing the border, fueled by fears after recent immigration raids and uncertainty over President Trump's executive order. Can Canada handle this new influx?

8:05:12 AM Eastern

HARRIS: With all the talk of cracking down on immigration, we're seeing a dramatic increase of people trying to cross over America’s northern border into Canada.

PAULA FARIS: Yeah, we're watching scenes of immigrants and their families, with young children, fleeing the U.S., crossing illegally, all hoping to begin the process of emigrating there as refugees. And ABC's Eva Pilgrim is at a border crossing for us this morning in upstate New York. Hi, Eva.

EVA PILGRIM: Dan and Paula, this is one of the crossings people have been using illegally. You can see here the road is closed. Just on the other side, the Royal Canadian Border Patrol is waiting for anyone that might come this way. And there have been so many people using this to cross into Canada, they have actually carved out a path right here in the snow.

[Cuts to video]

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It's very painful.

PILGRIM: This morning, immigrants in limbo, desperately fleeing to the north. Families with small children making the trek on foot in the snow, dragging everything they own. Canadian border police making arrests. But assisting those who make a refugee claim.

BASSIR YUSSUF: We made it. And we're happy with that.

PILGRIM: The number of asylum seekers illegally crossing along the Quebec border skyrocketing. In January, 452 incidents. An increase of 230 percent above the same month in 2016.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN 2: All our resources are pretty much booked. There's almost no space left.

PILGRIM: The influx really picking up in November. Election night, the Canadian immigration website crashing. Now, uncertainty across the country, fueling fear after recent immigration raids and continued debate over the president's executive order banning refugees from seven majority Muslim countries.

PROTESTERS: We'll never be divided.

PILGRIM: Large pro-immigration rallies in Texas. And in New Mexico. Here in upstate New York, a steady stream of people using these closed roads to illegally cross into Canada. Canada allowed nearly 40,000 Syrian refugees into their country in the past year. In a joint news conference, with President Trump, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promising that Canada will remain open.

JUSTIN TRUDEAU: We continue to pursue our policies of openness towards immigration of refugees without compromising security.

PILGRIM: So far this weekend, immigration lawyers tells us there have been a steady stream of people crossing into Canada. And they say it does not appear to be slowing down anytime soon. Dan and Paula?

HARRIS: Eva, thank you.

Nicholas Fondacaro
Nicholas Fondacaro
Nicholas C. Fondacaro