Almost three-in-four say it’s “not fair” that people can cross illegally and apply for refugee status
Latest results from Angus Reid Institute polling released today (April 10, 2017):
Will the slow-but-steady stream of asylum-seekers crossing the border illegally grow into a roaring flood this summer? Canadian officials have downplayed this possibility, but a new public opinion poll from the Angus Reid Institute finds a substantial portion of the Canadian public anticipating such a surge, and worried about the potential security risks that might be associated with it.
Asked whether their country should put more emphasis on assisting the new arrivals walking across the border in places like Emerson, Man., and Lacolle, Que., or on monitoring and patrolling the border to deter future crossings, nearly three-quarters of Canadians (72%) prefer a focus on border security.
The public is far from united in its views on this issue, however. There are deep divisions – particularly along generational and partisan lines – over the legitimacy of the refugee claimants crossing the border and confidence in the federal government to identify and deal with any newcomers who pose a threat to Canadian security.
- Canadians are more likely to say their country should be “concerned about the threat posed by these arrivals” (37%) than “focused on the opportunity to help” them (24%). The largest group (38%) think the country is torn between the two
- Three-in-five Canadians (60%) believe their country should be “an example for the world when it comes to generosity toward refugees”
- Political partisanship helps shape views on this issue, with those who voted for the Conservative Party of Canada in the 2015 federal election more skeptical of these new arrivals than others
Link to the poll here: www.angusreid.org/illegal-border-crossing