Migrants’ clean clothes raise stink

VICTORIA, BC. — It’s true that the mills of God grind slow, but the mills in the bureaucratic mind-maze grind even slower. And less surely. Two weeks ago I suggested that the heart of the Chinese people-smuggling ring was HERE, IN CANADA, NOT IN CHINA. Whether immigration official George Varnai read our published thoughts and pondered the possibility, or whether a light dawned without prompting into the bureaucratic mind-maze isn’t known. But as the last batch of illegals came ashore on northern Vancouver Island on the last day of August, Mr. Varnai was heard to say he now believed “the smugglers have help ashore … that they normally plan to unload (their human cargo) without being detected.”

Maybe now, he, with an assist by the RCMP (if it can find the manpower to help), can provide us with an answer to what I call the clothing question. I didn’t notice it until the second boat load when the women, after two months at sea in a ships-hold stinking with human feces and rotting food, were filmed on the deck of their rustbucket fishboat with bright silk dressing gowns or eiderdowns wrapped around their shoulders. And they all eventually came ashore in clean blouses and pressed designer jeans. On September 1, the Victoria Times Colonist carried a front page photograph of half-a-dozen young men just moved from another filthy fishboat tramp to the immaculate decks of a Canadian navy vessel. They have been handed clean blankets to ward off west coast ocean chill, and clearly showing to go with their broad smiles, were perfect-fit clean shirts and snug-belted jeans. Maybe our navy goes to the rescue of illegals with a full-stocked men’s and women’s fashion shop, which would answer my questions while raising others. One thing is for sure, as any traveler who has ever lived for more than a week out of a suitcase will confirm, nobody steps ashore bandbox fresh after 72 days (the latest voyage estimate) in the hold of a filthy, unseaworthy, rusty, former fishing trawler. SOME MEMBERS OF VICTORIA’S SUBSTANTIAL CHINESE COMMUNITY ARE CONVINCED THE SO-CALLED REFUGEES ARE MAKING THE CROSSING ON MORE SEAWORTHY AND COMFORTABLE VESSELS AND BEING TRANSFERRED TO THE NEAR DERELICTS ONLY FOR THE LAST KILOMETRES OF THEIR JOURNEY.

It is a theory dismissed by immigration, coast guard and police officials, while all three bodies admit they lack the resources to patrol the vast Pacific with any guarantee that they can locate illegals before they enter Canadian waters. The most recent vessel to be escorted to Vancouver Island was carrying close to 200 men, women and children. It was not picked up by routine air patrol until well inside Canadian waters and coastal patrol and coast guards admit they’ll probably never be able to do any better until given more aircraft and men. They can be believed. Their resources in men and equipment are thin, but that should not be an excuse for failing to find answers to inevitable questions: Where were the illegals scheduled to make landfall? Why are they always apprehended on unseaworthy vessels, sans lifeboats or sanitation, ships one faltering knot from the wrecker’s yard and no loss to anybody if confiscated or sunk? And always the great unanswered question, whomwere they supposed to be met by as they stepped ashore in their nice clean clothes? As immigration now appears to be belatedly admitting there was, somewhere on British Columbia’s rugged West Coast, a Canadian based welcoming committee ready to whisk the latest arrivals to the easy-to-hide-in warrens of first Vancouver or Seattle and then all and any points east and/or south. For a fee. The fee brings up another point. To whom do the illegals make their payments for travel costs advanced, so we’re told, by Chinese gangsters trading in human flesh.

IN SUCH RELATIVELY SMALL GROUPS OF PEOPLE IS IT IMPOSSIBLE TO IDENTIFY THE ENFORCERS, THE BILL COLLECTORS? And are they really all back in China threatening illegals family members? Or are there more than few strong-arms already here, safe in possession of a Canadian passport? One more question here, already privately and politely asked but with no answer yet forthcoming: British Columbia provincial authorities insist it costs $8,200 a month to take care of a teenage or child “refugee”. They want the federal government to pick up all or a portion of the tab. Background: On Vancouver Island there are at least four first class, private schools offering boarding facilities. (There are as many others on the Mainland) They all specialize in English-as-a-second-language courses and recruit heavily on the Orient. They provide their students with first class accommodation, good food, superior health care and on-campus infirmary facilities, counseling, recreation, laundry facilities, active sports programs, and an all-round education second to none. For the full room and board plus special services in ESL, THEY CHARGE LESS THAN $30,000 A YEAR. Which sounds an enormous cost — until placed alongside the $98,400 a year for each new teenage refugee placed in a group home under provincial care programs. Maybe we could send all teenage “economic refugees” to private schools and hand the $68,000 per head saved to the RCMP and Coast Guard to hire more people to catch the bad guys ripping off refugees and taxpayers alike. I’m just joking. Or am I? (Jim Hume, Canoe on line, Wed Sept 1, 1999)


Funny, that idea that these ships did not really make a trans-Pacific crossing under their own steam just keeps popping up doesn’t it? Another bizarre contention is that the crew of these rustbuckets routinely scuttle costly navigational equipment just as Canadian authorities approach. For heaven’s sake – WHY? Can these things be “read”? In which case, did they not set out from Fukien Province?

We are told that these scows are the budget-conscious alternative to pricey smuggling operations by air. And yet, we KNOW that in recent years that even documents (necessary for boarding the plane, but a distinct disadvantage when it comes to making a refugee claim) are NOT being torn up, but rather, passed on to an airborne confederate to be recycled. With such penny pinching measures in place on the luxury air-route, the idea that expensive navigational aids are scuttled on the good ship El Cheapo is an ever less convincing scenario. Any relatively bright Cocker Spaniel would wonder what’s going on, or rather, over?


Crew ditched sophisticated navigation aids Navy believes gear dropped into sea before boarding VICTORIA – The crew of the third migrant ship seized off Vancouver Island early Tuesday are believed to have thrown sophisticated navigation equipment overboard before Canadian authorities boarded the vessel. Commander David Kyle, the Canadian Forces’ chief of naval operations for the Pacific region, said officers boarding the battered ship found only standard commercial navigation gear. He said IT IS UNLIKELY THE CREW WOULD HAVE BEEN ABLE TO PILOT THE SHIP ACROSS THE PACIFIC WITHOUT THE HELP OF MORE SOPHISTICATED EQUIPMENT. “We seem to see a pattern of these folks disposing of real navigation aids before they get apprehended,” Cmdr. Kyle said.

“To make a landfall as accurate as some of them are making, it takes more than just a good seaman’s eye. Yet we all know we can buy a good navigation system half the size of a laptop computer that will get you to any point in the Pacific.” Cmdr. Kyle was speaking at a press conference where officials released new details about the [third] ship seized at Esperanza Inlet. … … A coast guard engineer examined the ship’s engine, which had been shut down. Oil and diesel fuel were leaking onto the floor. Wiring was exposed. There was a strong smell of diesel fuel and oil throughout the ship, which was also taking on water. There were about 10,000 litres of diesel fuel on board. The coast guard engineer decided the ship was too much of a fire trap to restart the engine. (Drew Hasselback National Post, Thurs Sept 2, 1999) ___________________________

The Vancouver Maritime Museum wants to salvage some artifacts. Currently housing the chronometer used by Captain George Vancouver on his 1791 voyage of discovery, the museum is hoping to scrounge “parts of the three rusting derelict trawlers used to smuggle illegal migrants to Canada. Jim Delgado, Maritime Museum director: ‘What we’re looking for are pieces from the wheel-house or the galley to show the conditions. … As rusting hulks they show the desperate means people take to come to Canada.'” (BCTV News Sept 2, 1999) Right now, right in the thick of the scam, an astonishing number of people are unable to distinguish a legitimate immigrant or refugee from an opportunistic crook — or for that matter — a legitimate concern from venom spitting hatred. Is a shrine to “smuggler’s sacrifices” really a good idea? Every public school student in Vancouver will traipse past while that “sacrifice” mushrooms with every passing year. The BC Artificial Reef Society suggests that the ships would look “perfect at the bottom of Howe Sound.” ___________________________

More Chinese migrants disappear Vancouver — As many as 30 Chinese refugee claimants, among the first boatload of migrants to hit Canadian shores, have disappeared from the city in recent days, according to sources in the local Chinese-Canadian community. The disappearances have prompted fears the claimants may have been kidnapped or told to leave by the snakeheads who arranged their illegal passage to Canada. They are believed to be on their way via a circuitous underground route to New York, where they are expected to work to pay off the money — estimated to be at least $30,000 (U.S.) apiece — they owe the snakeheads. “If they don’t end up in New York, the snakeheads don’t get paid,” said Wilfred Wong, chairman of the United Chinese Community Enrichment Society, which has been assisting the refugee claimants.

“We are worried about their personal safety.” Canadian immigration officials said yesterday they are taking the reports seriously… … Victor Wong of the Vancouver Association of Chinese Canadians, which has been working closely with the released migrants, said he is concerned about their safety. “They are being intimidated by local Chinese gang members. They are being followed around and stalked,” said Mr. Wong, who said he was still hopeful some of the missing might be staying with relatives or just temporarily have dropped out of sight. He said gang members want to give refugee claimants a message that there are still debts to be paid. “And they are there to offer assistance, if they want to leave and go underground.” Mr. Wong said the situation is worrisome because many claimants say they now want to stay in Vancouver “and they are seeking our protection. These people are victims.” He said police have done little to reassure migrants worried about snakehead threats … … In an interview this week with a local Chinese-language TV station, several migrants talked about their fear of snakeheads pouncing on them. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the migrants said they have already been approached by snakeheads in Vancouver’s Chinatown, where they spend much of their time. “They know everything. They know where we live,” one said. They said they are too frightened to contact Canadian authorities about the situation because of fears that it will affect their claims for refugee status. …Immigration officials can do nothing to protect claimants from the snakeheads once they are released. (Globe and Mail, Sept 4, 1999)


What a mess. Now that they’re here, they seem to be safe only while they are in detention (which probably explains why the two latest boatloads WERE detained). Will they claim “refugee” status based on a legitimate fear of retaliation from the criminal enterprise they contracted with for their passage? A criminal enterprise, incidentally, that profits whenever Canada allows smuggling boats to land. What happens when and if more are released? Will the gangs decide they have to send a “stronger” message? Will Canada be expected to provide round the clock protection for the rest of their lives? How much would the inevitable Refugee Relocation Program cost us? It’s madness, and it’s just beginning.


“The Canadian government can’t tell every Chinese in China that it’s not the best way to come into Canada. There are more than 1 billion people in China.” – Jean Chretien (National Post, Sat Sept 4, 1999)


‘Ceaseless campaign’ to sneak into Canada He was from India and about to be deported for attempting to enter Canada illegally. His parting shot as he headed for the plane was that he would try again — and so would others. We will continue to come, he said, until such time as countries like Canada open factories in India and pay Canadian wages. The man, and thousands like him around the world, are part of a global traffic in people desperate to escape their impoverished homelands for a country they hope will afford them a better life. The International Organization for Migration estimates that four million people are “trafficked” every year in a global trade worth $10 billion annually. They travel by air, by land or by ship as they attempt to evade immigration authorities. Some resort to smugglers, who supply stolen or forged travel documents and airline tickets that will take their clients halfway around the world and back as they try to trick authorities into admitting them through an airport unaccustomed to seeing travellers with phoney documents. Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials regularly uncover scams and share their intelligence reports with other CIC offices around the globe, and with the immigration departments of the U.S., Britain and Australia, in the never-ending battle against illegal migration. Alerts are issued to watch out for Chinese migrants dressed up as more worldy Singaporeans, Dominican prostitutes posing as nuns and Guyanese acting like Canadian citizens who have been briefed to say they live in the province of Montreal whose capital is Ontario.

The intelligence reports for the period Oct. 1, 1998 to Jan. 8 of this year were obtained under freedom of information laws by lawyer Richard Kurland, who chairs the immigration section for the Canadian Bar Association. The reports paint a picture of a ceaseless campaign by migrants around the world to enter Canada by any means. … … Near the end of 1998, customs officers were intrigued to find that most Chinese travellers claiming refugee status in Canadian airports had flown to Canada from France, and a handful of others had travelled the little-known China-Mongolia-Vladivostock-Anchorage route in their attempt to circumvent prying customs officers. Some hopeful immigrants carry passports lost by, or stolen or purchased from, legitimate owners. Others travel on photocopied or forged documents, and others, the most desperate, are packed into shipping containers in European ports and loaded as so much cargo into freighters for a voyage across the Atlantic. Some of the migrants are escorted by members of the smuggling rings, and even then they may have no idea where they are. One group of eight Chinese women was found wandering around Quebec’s Dorval Airport in November, 1998, after likely arriving from the Caribbean island nation of Guadeloupe, and “some appeared to be 14 to 16 years old, rather than the 20 or 21 claimed,” one report said. A group of 10 Eritreans carrying Ethiopian passports travelled overland to Kenya, by air to Mozambique and overland to Johannesburg before being smuggled onto a London-bound flight. On their arrival in England, members of the group said they thought they were already in Canada. Immigration officials at Vancouver airport reported last winter being frustrated when trying to question improperly documented passengers from the People’s Republic of China. No matter what question the arrivals were asked, their answers were the same. “Bu zhi dao,” they said.

In English, it means: “I don’t know.'” Intelligence officers admit they will never catch all of the illegal migrants, and not even all of those travelling on phony documents. “Control authorities recognized long ago that, while inadpax traffic could not be eliminated, it could be controlled,” the weekly intelligence digest for Dec. 31, 1998 said. Several intelligence reports included warnings about the disappearance of travel documents missing from embassies of Germany, Australia, Taiwan and Canada. Officers were warned to be on the lookout for easy-to-forge Icelandic and Philippine passports, and photocopies of Canadian immigration forms. Despite the hundreds of illegal migrants who still arrive on Canadian soil each year, the immigration department takes heart at its success rate in assessing the integrity of visitor visa applications. “Only one in 509 on average of the 603,723 visitor visas issued (to visitors, workers and people in transit) in the first nine months of 1998 were used by individuals to enter in-Canada refugee claims,” an intelligence report for the week of Nov. 27, 1998 said. … … And on the streets of Bangkok, Thailand, counterfeit copies of the travel documents of Australia, Canada, Belgium, Greece and Norway are all available, for a price, a multi-nation forum on human smuggling was told last year. (Vancouver Sun, Sat Sept 4, 1999)


Simon Fraser University’s Don Devoretz is a long time immigration booster – but even he appears impatient with bloating abuses: “Although there has been an attempt to characterize the latest arrivals as persecuted by China’s one-child policy, the professor dismisses that idea with a snort. ‘THE CHINESE DO NOT MAKE PEOPLE HAVE LATE-TERM ABORTIONS; IT’S JUST HARDER TO GET SECOND CHILDREN INTO SCHOOL.’ … Test potential migrants’ commitment to life in Canada. ‘Don’t let them settle in Vancouver or Toronto right away. Make them go to Prince George for a couple of years, learn English and become integrated into the community.’ Once word gets back to Fujian province that the path to the Golden Mountain runs through such a formidable commitment, only genuine refugees will apply.” (Globe and Mail, Sat Sept 4, 1999)


Welcome to Wonderland As usual, Canada has got it all wrong: if hundreds of illegals enjoying the red carpet treatment while predatory gangs grow fat is a concern; then you are either over-reacting or xenophobic. How shameful to see a man who believed in his oath treated thus: (You might want to ask your MP about Cpl. Read and this nation’s gratitude) ‘I AM NOT SURPRISED . . . I KNOW I HAVE DONE THE RIGHT THING’ “So what happens to an RCMP officer who goes public with information his superiors don’t want to investigate? In the case of Cpl. Robert Read, he gets ostracized and suspended and becomes the target of both an internal inquiry and a criminal investigation. The RCMP, in suspending Read with pay, said the 24-year veteran ‘disgraced the force’ by going public about the way his bosses were handling the investigation into the alleged tampering of the immigration computer at the Canadian diplomatic mission in Hong Kong. They have accused him of making classified material available to The Province — which he did not. Read cannot wear the RCMP uniform or be a Mountie. He has to report to the RCMP ‘A’ division in Ottawa between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. every day, except on weekends and holidays. The married father of two also is not allowed to travel beyond a 100-kilometre radius from his house unless he gets special permission. In addition, Read has been ordered to return his badge, the keys to his office and his firearms and cannot enter any RCMP premises without an escort. (Vancouver Province, Fri Sept 3, 1999)


RCMP spokesman Cpl. Gilles Moreau confirmed Read was suspended with pay as of 5:20 p.m. EDT Wednesday. He said READ, 54, IS BEING INVESTIGATED in connection with the Hong Kong incident and ‘how certain information pertaining to the criminal investigation into the Canadian consulate-general found its way into the public domain.’ Moreau said a separate investigation into whether Read has committed any CRIMINAL OFFENCE had also been launched. Read, a 24-year veteran of the force, was attached to the RCMP immigration and passport section in Ottawa. Last week, he told The Province he had filed an obstruction-of-justice complaint against his superiors, alleging that the RCMP were perpetuating a coverup of the penetration of the immigration computer at the Canadian commission (now consulate-general) in Hong Kong. The alleged infiltration of the computers was initially discovered by then-immigration control officer Brian McAdam, an internationally renowned expert on triads, or the Chinese Mafia. McAdam alerted Ottawa and an investigation was initiated by the department of external affairs and the RCMP.

The core allegations were that 788 files containing sensitive background information on businessmen and criminals had been deleted from the Computer Assisted Immigration Processing System (CAIPS). The tampering is said to be the work of locally hired staff, linked to triads, who had given themselves high security clearance. Another allegation involved the disappearance of about 2,000 blank visa forms. In addition, certain immigration staff at the diplomatic mission were suspected of accepting ‘bribes.’ The initial investigation was stopped shortly after it started in 1992 because of a lack of evidence. This was despite direct testimony about files going missing and fake immigration stamps being found in the office of a locally hired staff member. After it passed through the hands of a series of RCMP officers, Read was assigned the file in September 1996. He made some significant discoveries and found gaping holes in the original investigation. ‘I tried to raise this with my superiors but got nowhere,’ he said last night. ‘I went to my bosses, the RCMP Public Complaints Commission, CSIS and the auditor-general . . . I had nowhere else to go, so I went to the people through The Province. ‘I am resolved to see this to the end.’ Frustrated that certain leads were not being followed, Read made his case public as part of a Province investigation into the Canadian diplomatic mission in Hong Kong. Now some of the people he has pointed the finger at are investigating him. McAdam, who alerted the authorities to the goings-on at the diplomatic mission, described Read as a ‘courageous cop who told the public about a breach of national security that was being hidden for seven years.’ ‘Instead of going after the crooks, they are going after this officer, who has done a tremendous job investigating this file,’ he said. Moreau, the RCMP spokesman, said the investigation into the improprieties in Hong Kong is continuing. An immigration department official said anyone found to have entered Canada with the help of the deleted files or blank visas will be arrested and deported. (Vancouver Province, Fri Sept 3, 1999) ___________________________

Excerpt from Robert Read’s suspension letter: Between the 21st day of November, 1996, and the 27th day of August, 1999, at or near Ottawa, in the province of Ontario, you conducted yourself in a disgraceful manner that brings discredit on the Force, contrary to section 39 (1) of the Code of Conduct, being section 39 (1) of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Regulations (1988). While you were a member of the RCMP and in the course of a criminal investigation pertaining to alleged corruption at the Canadian Consulate in Hong Kong, you obtained classified information as well as copies of various classified documents. You made some or all of the classified information and/or classified documents known to the media and/or Mr. Brian McAdam. Some or all of the information made known to the media and/or Mr. Brian McAdam by you was published in The Vancouver Province newspaper on 99-08-26. _____________________________

HOW HIGH DOES THE CORRUPTION GO? ASK YOUR MP TO INSIST ON ANSWERS! — Your MP’s constituency office is listed in the BLUE pages of the phone book – CALL — To find out who your MP is: You can write your MP postage free: c/o House of Commons, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A6 — there’s plenty of time left before Parliament resumes (a real letter carries more weight than an e-mail) — BC residents may wish to ask their MLA what this is costing them? — e-mail Elinor Caplan or write – c/o House of Commons, etc.