Back in January 2017 I asked “Why accept any refugees to the U.S. if they are welcome in Canada?” in response to Justin Trudeau’s promise to take anyone whom the U.S. rejects. From the Independent article cited in that post:
Justin Trudeau has responded to Donald Trump’s immigration ban by saying Canada welcomes refugees who have been rejected from the US.
“To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada,” he tweeted.
From this weekend: “Migrant Caravan, After Grueling Trip, Reaches U.S. Border. Now the Really Hard Part.” (New York Times):
A long, grueling journey gave way to what could be a long, uncertain asylum process Sunday as a caravan of immigrants finally reached the border between the United States and Mexico, setting up a dramatic moment and a test of President Trump’s anti-immigrant politics.
More than 150 migrants, part of a caravan that once numbered about 1,200 and headed north in March from Mexico’s border with Guatemala, were prepared to seek asylum from United States immigration officials.
With the migrants on the doorstep of the United States, Mr. Trump, in a tweet last week, ratcheted up his rhetoric, vowing “not to let these large Caravans of people into our Country.”
These folks have been rejected by the President of the U.S. Thus they would appear to be eligible for the Canadian Prime Minister’s offer. What is the practical obstacle to these 150 folks being welcomed in Vancouver?
Hipmunk says that AeroMexico will fly them one-way on May 7, for example, at $337 per person via Mexico City ($50,000 total). A chartered Boeing 757 would presumably be cheaper and I’m assuming that there are a sufficient number of good-hearted people who will fund the flight. It is only 1037 nautical miles between the two airports, about 2.5 hours of flight time, so roughly $15,000 in hourly operating costs.
In fact, let this blog post serve as my personal commitment to pay up to $50,000 either to charter an Airbus or Boeing or to fund airline tickets at up to $337 per refugee. I would love to be able to tell my friends in Cambridge that I personally rescued 150 asylum-seekers from, not only the persecution that they faced as Latin Americans in Latin America, but also from crime and prejudice in the U.S., from living under the cruel dictatorship of Donald Trump, from income inequality, etc.
Philip says #WelcomeToCanada!
- Natural disasters another good reason to let Canada take our would-be refugees?
- “You Hate America!’: How the ‘Caravan’ Story Exploded on the Right” (New York Times, April 8, 2018), which implies that the caravan is fictional (the word must be surrounded with quotes) and may be “real, embellished, or entirely imagined”