Berlin Wall Redux: Asylum Seekers at US-Canada Border

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in at 2/19/2017 04:40:00 PM
Fleeing Trump's USA: Royal Canadian Mounted Police help Sudanese refugees reach a civilized nation.
During the Cold War, the fulcrum upon which the world seemed to hinge was the Berlin Wall. It symbolized the division between socialist repression and democratic freedom insofar as those attempting to cross from East to West Germany literally risked their lives to escape tyranny. Nowadays, it seems a leading exponent of state-sponsored tyranny is the United States, now led by a racist-protectionist-isolationist who would like nothing more than detain, harass or deport people unlucky enough to have been born elsewhere.

The recent meeting between American President Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has come to symbolize the growing gulf between the two nations. Trump wants to build Fortress America; Trudeau says refugees are welcome to his country. It seems these policy disparities are already playing out on the US-Canada border. As Trump's flunkies are ramping up their xenophobic dragnet, a new flashpoint has emerged:
Eight asylum-seekers, including four children, barely made it across the Canadian border on Friday as a U.S. border patrol officer tried to stop them and a Reuters photographer captured the scene. As a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officer seized their passports and questioned a man in the front passenger seat of a taxi that had pulled up to the border in Champlain, New York, four adults and four young children fled the cab and ran to Royal Canadian Mounted Police on the other side.

One by one they scrambled across the snowy gully separating the two countries. RCMP officers watching from the other side helped them up, lifting the younger children and asking a woman, who leaned on her fellow passenger as she walked, if she needed medical care. The children looked back from where they had come as the U.S. officer held the first man, saying his papers needed to be verified.
Trump's border goons were not done yet, however:
The man turned to a pile of belongings and heaved pieces of luggage two at a time into the gully -- enormous wheeled suitcases, plastic shopping bags, a black backpack. "Nobody cares about us," he told journalists. He said they were all from Sudan and had been living and working in Delaware for two years.

The RCMP declined on Friday to confirm the nationalities of the people. A Reuters photo showed that at least one of their passports was Sudanese. The man then appeared to grab their passports from the U.S. officer before making a run for the border. The officer yelled and gave chase but stopped at the border marker. Canadian police took hold of the man's arm as he crossed.
From a nation whose leader once asked Mr. Gorbachev to "tear down the wall," the United States has gone into the business of putting them up. Back then the United States used to be a place folks aspired to move to. Trump's USA, however, is a xenophobic hellhole you're better off fleeing if you have any sense.

Fortunately, there are humane folks are north of the US-Canada border. In Trump's America, it'll no doubt become a harder place to reach as Trump's border goons crack down harder. To no one's particular surprise, Fortress USA is a lot like East Germany, cutting it off from its neighbors:
Behind me stands a wall that encircles the free sectors of this city, part of a vast system of barriers that divides the entire continent of Europe. From the Baltic, south, those barriers cut across Germany in a gash of barbed wire, concrete, dog runs, and guard towers. Farther south, there may be no visible, no obvious wall. But there remain armed guards and checkpoints all the same--still a restriction on the right to travel, still an instrument to impose upon ordinary men and women the will of a totalitarian state.
Trump may instead aim to divide the entire continent of North America, but the means and the logic are exactly the same. Get the hell out while you still can.

2/22 UPDATE: Canada's open borders policy continues (until Trump walls off Canada in the future, that is):
Canada will continue to accept asylum seekers crossing illegally from the United States but will ensure security measures are taken to keep Canadians safe, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday.

The number of would-be refugees crossing into Canada at isolated and unguarded border crossings has increased in recent weeks amid fears that U.S. President Donald Trump will crack down on illegal immigrants, and photos of smiling Canadian police greeting the migrants have gone viral.