Guy Farmer: Smuggling at the Smugglers Inn
I have another border column for you today, but it isn’t my usual rant about illegal immigration along the U.S.-Mexico border. Instead, it’s about smuggling illegal immigrants into Canada from northwestern Washington state.
During a recent family reunion at Birch Bay, Washington, just a few miles south of the U.S.-Canada border, a headline in the local newspaper, The Northern Light, caught my eye. It read, “Legal Defense Fund Started for Smugglers Inn Owner.” The paper reported that a GoFundMe page had been created for Bob Boule, the popular owner of the aptly named Smugglers Inn B&B at the border city of Blaine, Washington, who is facing human smuggling charges in Canada.
According to The Northern Light, “Boule was arrested by Canadian authorities in early April for allegedly helping people cross into Canada illegally. Crown prosecutors alleged that he helped 16 individuals cross into Canada from the Smugglers Inn, which abuts the U.S.-Canada border.” Conviction on these charges carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $500,000 (Canadian) fine.
Boule’s GoFundMe page notes that he’s a community leader who was presented with the Mayor’s Builder Award last year for his “many years of service as a volunteer and his contributions as a business owner in the city.” The online page suggests that “Canadian authorities… are applying the law in an overly broad manner that could ensnare ordinary U.S. business owners who operate near the border” even though Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “has publicly announced that refugees are welcome in Canada.”
I have two semi-serious questions about smuggling refugees into Canada: (1) Who are these people? and (2) Who’s responsible for this human smuggling? My somewhat conspiratorial theory is that the illicit activity is being organized by President Trump and/or the Deep State in order to smuggle our illegal immigrants into Canada, which welcomes refugees. As a crack investigative journalist, I’ve cleverly deduced that the leader of this diabolical plot is most likely Fox News pro-Trump attack dog Sean Hannity, aided and abetted by fellow Fox bloviators Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham. Who else?
More news from the Pacific Northwest
Now that we’ve resolved one controversial issue, let’s look at the rest of the news from the great Pacific Northwest, where I grew up. The left-leaning Seattle Times published an editorial urging the U.S. Commerce Department not to include citizenship questions on 2020 Census forms even though it might be a good idea to know whether people living in our country are citizens, or not. In the editorial, former Washington Gov. Gary Locke, a liberal Democrat, urged people not to answer “noxious” citizenship questions. We have the same issue here in Nevada, which has one of the highest percentages of Hispanic residents in the nation.
Locke and the local newspaper think citizenship questions represent “a brazen political maneuver” by the Trump administration, but I think such Census questions are perfectly reasonable. After all, why shouldn’t we know how many American citizens live in the United States?
Another issue my old hometown is struggling with is homelessness, with filthy, sprawling homeless encampments springing up alongside I-5 near downtown Seattle. One brilliant idea proposed by the Democrat/Socialist Seattle City Council is to turn public parks over to the homeless. Apparently, city officials “want to have a conversation about putting (homeless) housing developments on public park land.”
That, in my opinion, is a truly bad idea. Nevertheless, the Seattle Times welcomed the “conversation,” which could turn the city’s beautiful public parks into dangerous, ugly homeless encampments. I can hardly wait to learn what comes next.
Guy W. Farmer, a longtime Carson City resident, grew up in Seattle.