The word ‘caravan’ first entered the mainstream lexicon at the end of 2018, when U.S. President Donald Trump complained of an “invasion” of foreign asylum seekers.
(In this context, the word ‘caravan’ refers to a group of travellers).
Now, it’s the United States sending caravans to Canada. And they’re arriving by sea.
This is illegal, of course, since there’s an ongoing pandemic and the Canada-U.S. border has been closed to non-essential traffic since March.
Canadian border patrol officials announced recently that they are cracking down on an increasing number of Americans heading north. Their excuse? They’re heading to Alaska. Most don’t, of course, and instead take a detour to places like Banff, where seven American hikers were discovered and fined in June.
International maritime law mandates that all water vessels be equipped with tracking devices. The goal is to prevent collisions in storms and fog; the devices also allow anyone with an internet connection to see the location and origin of water vehicles. But those crafty Americans are sneaky and simply turn off tracking once they cross the border.
Now, there’s a crew of retired Canadian boaters patrolling the waters and reporting foreign boats to the RCMP’s marine division. Their concern, of course, is that the Americans are COVID carriers.
While Canada has managed to control the spread of the pandemic, in the United States it’s pretty much as rampant as ever.