RealNews

U.S. Crackdown Sets Off Unusual Rush to Canada

Once Jalil Mirza decided to leave the United States to avoid possible deportation, nothing happened quite as he expected, not even goodbye. As did hundreds of other Pakistanis fleeing a post-9/11 crackdown on illegal immigrants, Mr. Mirza quit his job, packed up his possessions and headed north rather than face a forced return to Pakistan. After a 16-hour bus ride from Virginia with his wife and seven children, he arrived at the Canadian border, hoping to take advantage of Canada’s political asylum law. But besieged Canadian officials told him to come back in two weeks. And when he dragged their suitcases back to the American side, United States immigration agents promptly arrested him and his two teenage sons, leaving the rest of the family wailing in despair in the icy cold. The Mirzas are part of an unusual and chaotic exodus that has jammed land crossings from the United States into Canada over the past two weeks, overwhelming immigration officials and refugee aid groups on both sides of the border. It is an oddly reluctant migration toward a presumed safe haven by people who say they do not really want to go but feel compelled to for fear that they could be deported. Prompted by rumors of dragnets and by new federal deadlines that require male foreign visitors, principally those from Muslim and Arab countries, to register with the government, families that lived illegally but undisturbed in the United States for years are now rushing to Canada. They get across the border only to be bounced back into the hands and jails of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

OODA is comprised of a unique team of international experts capable of providing advanced intelligence and analysis, strategy and planning support, risk and threat management, training, decision support, crisis response, and security services to global corporations and governments.