There is something amiss when a country loses the power to deport those with no right to stay

In the US there is a big debate going on, at least among some in Democratic Party circles, to do away with ICE – Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  In truth, parts of ICE have been involved in activities that some seen as inhuman such as the location, detention and deportation of undocumented immigrants who have already successfully crossed the border and are living in the US (they are not responsible for separating children from migrant families: that is the job of the US Customs and Border Protection Agency).  Others see this proposal – i.e. getting rid of ICE – as ridiculous.

Count me among them.

Every country has the right, the legal tools and, I would argue, the moral responsibility to enforce immigration laws and remove those who are in contravention of those laws or who have been deemed not to have a good reason to stay within the borders of that country.  Unlike natural born citizens, who must be afforded every right afforded to citizens, those  judged not to have a strong enough case to remain in country and those who cannot demonstrate that there is a real risk of abuse or torture in their homelands must be deported ASAP.  After all, a state should have the final say on who becomes a citizen (excepting of course those born in that country, although what is called ‘birth tourism’ has some up in arms).

So what the hell is going on at CBSA – Canada Border Services Agency?  As written up by Global News reporter Stewart Bell, a man who spread pro-Islamic State (IS) propaganda in BC, Othman Ayed Hamdan, was arrested, charged with support for terrorism, tried in court, acquitted and then ordered deported by CBSA has refused to meet with officials seeking to get him to fill out a form for a Jordanian travel document (he is originally from Jordan).  His lawyer has said that Mr. Hamdan is “unlikely to cooperate”.

WTF?  The Refugee Board has ruled that someone we do not want in Canada has “identified with and allied himself with a terrorist organization and he served that organization’s social media agenda by relaying its messages” and hence represents a danger to Canada, and we can’t get rid of him??  What parallel universe is this?  Why is getting him to fill out a Jordanian application even an obstacle?  Put him on plane, fly to Amman, open the door, push him off, fly back to Canada.  How is this complicated?  His lawyer says his client is worried about what the Jordanian authorities might do to him. Maybe he should have contemplated those worries BEFORE he became an IS sympathiser, ya think?

Alas Mr. Hamdan is not the only case where we cannot punt terrorists and terrorist sympathisers.  There is also the ‘famous five’ – Mohamed Harkat, Adel Charkaoui, Hassan AlMrei, Mohammad Mahjoub and Mahmoud Jaballah – men accused of the above offences and subject to deportation under the controversial National Security Certificate program.  All five are still here and showing no signs of leaving.  Incredibly Adil Charkaoui has been granted Canadian citizenshipMohamed Harkat’s case is still before the government and there is a campaign to have his certificate quashed.

If a country cannot make decisions of this order then it is not a country in my books.  States have the ultimate authority to rule: that authority can be challenged but it must in the end be acknowledged.  The alternative is anarchy and I do not think anyone really wants to go there.  Well, except for the Black Bloc, but who cares what these morons think anyway?

Canada must move to deport Messrs. Hamdan, Harkat, et al.  They have been deemed to present a danger to our country and have no God-given right to refugee, immigrant or citizen status.  They have all had their say and that has proved inadequate.  Put them on a plane – now.

By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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