Nearly half of Canadians want to deport people who are illegally crossing into Canada from the United States, and a similar number disapprove of how Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is handling the influx, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Monday.
A significant minority, four out of 10 respondents, said the border crossers could make Canada “less safe,” underlining the potential political risk for Trudeau’s Liberal government. Canadians appeared to be just as concerned about illegal immigration as their American neighbours, according to the poll, which was conducted between March 8 and 9. Some 48 per cent of Canadians said they supported “increasing the deportation of people living in Canada illegally.”
When asked specifically about the recent border crossings from the United States, the same number – 48 per cent – said Canada should “send these migrants back to the US.” Another 36 per cent said Canada should “accept these migrants” and let them seek refugee status.
In the poll, support for deporting the border crossers was strongest among men, adults who do not have a college degree, people who are older and those with higher levels of income.
“There are so many people in the world who want to come in and go through the right channels,” said Greg Janzen, elected leader of a Manitoba border municipality that has seen hundreds of border crossers. “That’s what’s pissing most people off. These guys are jumping the border,” he said.