Over the past month, President Trump has been steadily and deliberately unraveling our nation’s close relationship with our Canadian neighbors to the north.
That much was made clear when news broke today that Border Patrol agents have been boarding and searching Canadian fishing vessels in search of illegal migrants. At least ten boats from New Brunswick have been boarded by the president’s jack-booted thugs in the past two weeks.
To add insult to injury, the boardings took place in international waters, outside of the Border Patrol’s jurisdiction and potentially in violation of international law. The fishermen were operating in the waters around Machias Seal Island, a small rock containing just a lighthouse and a colony of puffins, but whose ownership has been disputed been the US and Canada for centuries.
Given the usually jovial relationship between the two nations, fishermen from both countries have fished in harmony and neither nation has made any substantial efforts to assert their sovereignty over the area for hundreds of years – until now, it appears.
Observers from both nations were mystified and infuriated by the boardings, especially the obviously contrived excuse that they were searching for “illegal immigrants.”
“That’s possible, but … the Gulf of Maine is not a major route for illegal immigrants sneaking into the United States. If anything, people are sneaking the other way. They’re trying to get out of the U.S. and into Canada to claim asylum” said Stephen Kelly, a researcher at Duke University, to the Toronto Star.
The chairman of the Lobster Area 38 advisory board, Laurence Cook, had this to say on how he and his fellow Canadians felt about the issue.
“I guess the comment on the street would be: ‘Typical American bullies,’ ” he said. “They’re not happy about it, and they don’t think (the Americans) have any business doing this.”
Cook said he’s never before seen border patrol agents in the area, where the U.S. Coast Guard typically patrols. He said he had no idea why American authorities are suddenly flexing their muscles.
It goes without saying that it is absolutely ridiculous that the Trump administration is utilizing their deportation forces to instigate and provoke our Canadian neighbors for no real reason whatsoever.
ICE and the Border Patrol are already notorious for their needless cruelty and spiteful excesses against undocumented migrants along the southern border. These incidents are disturbing evidence of increasing aggression and disturbing arrogance by the Border Patrol, and Congress must demand answers for these actions at once.