Canada Targets Romanians Smuggling Gypsies
Canadian immigration officials believe a Romanian smuggling ring has been bringing Gypsies into the U.S. through Mexico in order for them to eventually gain asylum in Canada.
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said Wednesday that 85 people, including 35 children, who arrived in Canada since February have now been classified as “irregular arrivals,” which means they can’t apply for permanent residence status for at least five years.
“Quite frankly we really haven’t seen anything like this in our immigration system before. People from Europe that go to Mexico, that go through the U.S. to come to Canada and then go to Toronto where many of them got involved in criminal activity,” Kenney said at a news conference in Stanstead, Quebec, a town that borders Vermont.
Thirty of the irregular arrivals have been arrested under newly enacted immigration laws that allow for the mandatory detention of those suspected to have arrived in Canada via smugglers, Kenney said.
Over the past year, cars loaded with ethnic Roma asylum seekers have run the border between Derby Line, Vermont and Stanstead, Quebec. The border crossing was previously all-but-non-existent before 9/11. The once-open streets between Vermont and Quebec have now have become the preferred route into Canada for refugees who carry Romanian passports. Only recently has Canada beefed up security in Stanstead.