Frozen Failure - Trek from Canada to US

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by AsianStew, Jan 27, 2022.

  1. AsianStew

    AsianStew Moderator Staff Member

    That's insane, a group of 11 Indian nationals tried to go from Canada to the US during a blizzard in freezing weather. 7 of them survived, a family of 4 perished and froze in the cold weather conditions... Amazing how they walked for 11 hours just to cross a border, the survivors were lucky enough to be saved by border patrol.

    I just don't get it - The father is a teacher and isn't really in poverty, there are so many ways to be a "real" citizen, they have visitor visa, they can apply for visitor visa for the US, I mean, the risk/reward there isn't "worth it" for getting smuggled into the US.

    Link: Identities of Indian family of four found frozen near Canada border confirmed (
  2. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I don't get it either - particularly since Canada is home to many, many Indian expats - who came here legally (which isn't that difficult) and did pretty well, on average. If there was some compelling reason for this family to attempt something so desperate to get from Canada to the US, then nobody has yet told us what it was.

    They look like a really nice family. A terrible loss.
  3. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    That's nuts. Why would anyone who's already in Canada risk the lives of their family to sneak into a comparable country?
    Dustin likes this.
  4. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Perhaps Steve Shand, who stands accused of smuggling human beings in this case, will know something about that and tell the court.
    At his trial.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2022
  5. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    It's a little clearer now. Just heard a BBC report. It looks like the Patel family's deal with the smugglers was prearranged in their homeland, Gujarat. They landed in Toronto on Jan 12th and the border-crossing attempt was only days later. It appears there was no intent to take up residence in Canada.

    It looks like they were sold a scheme with the sole intent of landing them (illegally) in the US. Canada was intended only as a way-station in the plan. Steve Shand will stand trial - but what about his confederates in Gujarat? I can only hope they don't go free. I'll be seeing this family's faces for years.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2022
    Dustin likes this.
  6. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

  7. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    "Patel can even be a nickname and usually means "little head" in this context. This version stems from the morphemes pate (head) and -el (little)."

    It's amazing to me how Indo-European languages retain these recognizable similarities so many millennia from their divergence.
    Johann likes this.
  8. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Yes it is - to me as well. And how they bear such strong relationships to each other. Guys on the next bar stools to me (MANY years ago -no longer) once laughed at me for saying there were similarities between Gaelic and Latin. But there are. They both came from the same branch of the Indo-European tree. Plus, the Romans' immediate neighbours were Celtic speakers. Romans learned a lot of things besides words from the Celts - including their famous road-building.

    Don't really know that much about the original Indo-Europeans - except that they were incredibly good language teachers! What they taught - stuck! As Steve says - for millennia.
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  9. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Be careful with morphemes! I've heard they're addictive! :)
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  10. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    It is hard to understand. Why would someone lawfully resident in Canada risk dying to come into the U.S. without legal status even if they get here? Canada is cold, I'll grant that, and the U.S. has ten times the population and therefore ten times the market but Canadians can take advantage of visa free visits and free trade. Now if the individual is not lawfully in Canada either, that makes better sense especially if there's family here.
  11. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Yes, it does. And in this case, it looks (at least, to me) like the Patels were here illegally, pursuant to a scheme which was sold to them in advance. Enter Canada unlawfully somehow, and be met by a US-based smuggler or his agent, who would quickly transport them to Manitoba to be conducted across the border. All organized (and paid for) well before they boarded the plane, I'm sure.

    I should mention - cross-border traffic goes both ways. Migrants who know from Day 1 that they're not welcome in the US cross into Canada at roughly the same place. Some have died, others have suffered severe frostbite etc. There's also a well-known site in New Brunswick, at the border with Maine. There's temporary housing there, now. The area is mostly wooded and authorities arrest people as they cross from the U.S. - they're detained and started on refugee claims. The outcome determines whether they stay (legally) or not. Summer traffic is the heaviest, I'm told.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2022
  12. Rachel83az

    Rachel83az Well-Known Member

    People in poorer foreign countries are often sold on the premise that the US is the golden land of opportunity. I've personally spoken to a few who have had quite a rude awakening when I told them that, sure, you have a good chance of making 6 figures in their dream job. But healthcare is expensive and you're not guaranteed any holidays.
    Johann likes this.
  13. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    SO true. All of it. And I have no doubt this is what the Patels were told. Canada was never part of the story, except as a stepping stone. I think they could have had good lives here, had they gone about things differently. A tragedy.
    Dustin, SteveFoerster and Rachel83az like this.

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