Would-be refugees at risk!

Who’s to blame?

Asylum seekers perish as boat sinks off Australia

Associated Press, Dec 15, 2010

Tamil Nadu is the eleventh largest state in India by area (about the size of Greece). It has been the ancestral home of the Tamils since at least 500 BC. It is bounded on one side by the Bay of Bengal. The Palk Strait separates it from the northernmost part of the island nation of Sri Lanka. The strait is 33 miles (53 km) wide at its narrowest. The main language of the state is Tamil.

The 500+ Tamils would-be refugees who arrived on two rickety freighters off Canada’s West Cost this summer could have sought refuge in their ancestral homeland and the substantial amount (between 30 and 50 thousand dollars) they paid the smugglers to come to Canada could have provided them with more than adequate accommodations and a chance to start over.

Instead of crossing the narrow Palk Strait to safety (assuming their lives were ever in danger in the new post-war Sri Lanka), they risked their lives sailing the Pacific Ocean to claim refugee status in a country known around the world as being recklessly accommodating if you are seeking a change of address for less than legitimate reasons – you just have to get there.

Under the assumption that Canada’s latest boat people chose the riskier route because of the perceived material benefits of Canadian citizenship, who would you blame if the Tamil-laden-ships which came to Canada had sunk off the coast of British Columbia and lives had been lost?

Yes, our broken down refugee system which favours bogus refugees over legitimate immigrants, thereby making risking your life to get here that much more attractive, would have been partly to blame.

Bernard Payeur, Dec 16, 2010