The Ontario Minister of Children, Community and Social Services Lisa MacLeod told her federal counterparts last night that the province is withdrawing support for the resettlement of migrants entering into Canada from the US. The Ford Government instead is insisting that municipalities deal with the crisis. The federal government has earmarked an initial payment of $11 million to Ontario to help with the financial burden of the migrant crisis. It is unclear whether that money will flow to Ontario municipalities or whether the municipalities will be on the hook for the financial costs of resettlement. If the municipalities do pick up the tab for this crisis, it could result in substantial increases in municipal taxes which would more than offset any tax breaks the provincial government has coming down the pipeline.
What are migrants fleeing? Most of them have been waiting for Asylum in the US, and under Trump they fear they will be deported back to countries that are unsafe. Recently the US has backed out of the United Nations Human Rights Council. There have been significant concerns regarding separation of families seeking asylum in the US from violent and lawless countries in South America. Now there are concerns regarding the legal representation of these children.
Today my client was excited to push the elevator buttons on the way to her first deportation hearing. Afterwards I congratulated her on tying her shoes by herself. She’s 6 and @TheJusticeDept thinks she should only get a lawyer if she can pay for one https://t.co/e6fSuTKHIe
— Laura Barrera, Esq. (@abogada_laura) February 26, 2018
There are now reports circulating that some children are defending themselves in immigration court often times without a lawyer. An excellent dramatization on what these children face in the US:
The Trump administration is forcing children as young as toddlers to represent themselves in immigration courts pic.twitter.com/JTtEAooyQI
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) July 3, 2018
I find it very telling that the Minister responsible for Children and Social Services has displayed how gutless she is, and would not do everything in her power to show compassion for the families, instead she has taken a neo-conservative ideological view on the migrant crisis, and has effectively wiped the provinces hands clean of those seeking protection from an abusive regime, and exiting left stage with no comment.
UPDATE: 07/05/2018 6:17pm
Premier Doug Ford’s office has responded with the following, and it’s still not clear who will be picking up the costs related to resettlement: