Conservative Statement on Reports of Spike in Mexican Criminals in Canada

May 22, 2019, OTTAWA, ON – The Hon. Michelle Rempel, Shadow Minister for Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, and Pierre Paul-Hus, Shadow Minister for Public Safety, Border Security, and Emergency Preparedness, issued the following statement on reports of a spike in Mexican nationals with ties to drug cartels in Canada following the removal of the visa requirement for Mexicans:

“Today’s reports are alarming and reinforce the fact that the Liberals’ careless decision to lift visas off Mexican nationals travelling to Canada was ill-conceived and not only jeopardizes the integrity of Canada’s immigration system, but presents significant public safety risks to Canadians.

“The Canadian Border Services Agency has also warned that lifting visas would allow Mexican drug cartels to strengthen smuggling chains into Canada but the Liberals ignored their advice.

“The reports today, coupled with the dramatic rise in asylum claims, show that the Conservative Party was right all along – that the visa requirement on Mexico should never have been lifted without a formal review. It is also clear that Justin Trudeau has failed to manage our border in the context of our relationship with the Mexican government.

“Given both of these serious issues, it is incumbent upon the Liberal government to immediately take concrete steps to rectify these issues, so that an incoming government won’t have to take stronger corrective measures in the fall.

“From the beginning, Conservatives have urged Justin Trudeau to follow a standard process and conduct a formal risk assessment before removing the visa for Mexican travelers to Canada. They have, instead, ignored the advice of immigration officials, which has caused a massive spike in asylum claims and eased entry for criminals into the country.

“Successive Canadian governments have consistently applied the same objective criteria in assessing whether to grant visa exemptions. This is to ensure that visa policy is based on Canada’s national interest, and in accordance with the rule of law, rather than on arbitrary political considerations as Justin Trudeau has chosen to do.

“A Conservative government will deal swiftly and firmly with gang crime as part of our overall plan for A Safer Canada, by listing gangs in the Criminal Code and facilitating prosecutions. We will restore fairness, order, and compassion to Canada’s immigration system, and ensure it is not being abused by criminals.