Statement regarding the closure of Roxham Road
March 24, 2023 - Le Pont (Diocese of Montreal) - Foyer du Monde - Latraverse
Shelters for asylum seekers in Montreal
The hasty closure of Roxham Road, an irregular entry point for asylum seekers into Canada, is a mistake, as it is not accompanied by any lasting and dignified solution for the protection of migrants and refugees.
Closing Roxham Road is simply displacing the problem.
It criminalizes asylum seekers who seek to protect their lives and the lives of their families.
It is enriching the smugglers and developing a cruel and inhumane business model.
It is encouraging human beings to take even more dangerous, even deadly, routes.
Playing "cat and mouse" for 14 days means putting entire families in danger, making them precarious to the point of human dignity, pushing them to the very edge of the health, social services and immigration systems.
It is playing with the life of every human being who has already braved the risks and borders of several transitory countries.
It is suspending the inalienable right to asylum.
Closing a border or unofficial ports of entry has never "solved" immigration "problems”.
Entry is not the source of the problem.
Asylum seekers, in their uniqueness and human integrity, are not the problem.
The Safe Third Country Agreement is an administrative, judicial and political (outdated) arrangement in the face of human issues, lives at risk.
This decision is felt as an abandonment. An abandonment of the persecuted, of the ideal of a " welcoming land ", of the community, of the citizens in solidarity, and of all forms of human compassion.
The provincial and federal governments will have to take their responsibilities in the face of this certain humanitarian disaster.
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