Immigrants, asylum seekers, border crossers, illegal aliens, refugees, migrants, seasonal workers: they are all terms for those who are not citizens but have a significant need to come to our country.
Most folks don’t pack up and go to another country, short of a holiday, unless there is something really wrong at home.
As of late, farmers who live near the U.S. border are seeing more traffic across those frontiers.
While some, just north of the Rio Grande, worry about drug mules and other desperate folks crossing their land, several that I have I met over the years say they offer helping hands, especially when the weather is inclement.
I think it’s partly the rural ethic and that “fellow-man and do unto others” thing that most of us were raised with that cause this behav-iour. It’s also in keeping with both domestic and international laws.
That tends to not make the news in the United States.
Instead, we see reality television shows, Fox News included, and quasi-documentaries about rural vigilantes guarding what they see as their turf and spouting alarmist rhetoric. They are shown carrying guns under the pretense of being good Americans acting on their Second Amendment rights.
Fear drives people from their homes, and that is the source of our most recent wave of folks crossing into Canada from the U.S.
It’s a fear of poverty, fear of persecution for beliefs or origins and fear of passing either one on to the kids. This is not well-planned, economic emigration — this is desperation.
People are currently arriving on Canada’s southern border filled with fear, hoping Canada will be a better bet than the U.S.
Many had visitors’ visas for the U.S. and hoped to remain there, but are now fleeing north, fearing actions by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration. They are crossing in rural areas, using the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement that allows asylum claims from folks who’ve entered somewhere other than an official port of entry, where, by law, they could be turned back.
This does place large burdens on some small, rural Canadian farming communities. Places like Emerson, Man., and Hemmingford, Que., are offering shelter and food as they fight fear brought by nations far away and just next door.
What else would you expect from Canadians? And in Canada these good tales are newsworthy.