There’s always that question on when to be a Good Samaritan and break the law to do what you think is the right thing. For Andrea Zafarati, an Albanian native and commercial truck driver, he felt obligated to help a fellow countryman.
Zafarati was fined C$5,000 (Canadian dollars) for his role in attempting to smuggle a wife and two children across the Peace Bridge back in December 2021. The family had been stranded in Buffalo, New York, after Canada shut its border with the United States to non-commercial traffic.
Zafarati was traveling across the bridge when his truck was inspected by the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA). An inspector did an interior inspection of the cab and checked the closet in the bunk. That is where the wife was hiding. The two children were located underneath the blankets on the bed.
On June 23 Judge Cameron Watson, Ontario Court of Justice, St. Catharine’s, announced his decision. The judge was partially sympathetic to the plight facing the family. He agreed that what Zafarati did “was the right thing,” but unfortunately it was still against the law.
“Perhaps this was a humanitarian act, one to help a fellow countryman and his family. That’s commendable. People often help others from their home country to get into Canada … that’s part of what makes Canada a great nation and a wonderful nation in which to live. Love and loneliness are no substitutes for lawfulness and truthfulness in this case.”– Judge Cameron Watson
Zafarati was fined for breaking the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, a crime the judge called a serious offense. “It was a plan of lies and deceit and it was a plan of intentional choices that were taken. And, it’s an affront to all the people who have come to Canada, and have done it properly,” Judge Watson remarked.
What would you have done in this situation? Would you have done the same and risk a human trafficking charge? Or would you have done the same, and attempted to reunite a family separated by fate?