Individuals entering Canada as asylum seekers who are unchecked and using backwoods to gain entry into the country by foot from the United States have been issued a strict warning by Canadain officials.
Since the start of the month of August, more than 3,800 asylum seekers have crossed the border into Quebec, and authorities believe this number will continue to increase, probably to overwrite the 2008 record when thousands of Mexicans fled to Canada.
Recently, a majority of those arrived in Canada are Haitians who face deportation from the United States after President Donald Trump said that he would not extend temporary asylum granted to 60,000 Haitians affected by a devastating 2010 earthquake. The Haitians special status will expire at the end of this year.
At a press conference held in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle Transportation Minister Marc Garneau told reporters that gracing Canadian soil “is not an automatic ticket to being accepted here as a refugee.”
The Quebec border town about 60 kilometers (38 miles) south of Montreal, has witnessed a recent spike in asylum seekers. Quebec’s historical average is 400-500 monthly. However, for the month of July, the Quebec province had a fourfold increase in the number of asylum seekers of nearly 3,000 when compared to the previous month.
Government officials, in a briefing, stated that they “strongly discourage” anyone from evading border checkpoints, indicating that it is both illegal and dangerous.
Additionally, Government officials noted that less than 50 per cent of refugee bids in 2016, when the wave of walk-ins began, were successful. The rest were ordered out of the country.
Transportation Minister Marc Garneau said; “Those who might wish to seek asylum must fully understand the rules under which we operate, which is that unless you are being persecuted or fleeing terror or war, you would not qualify as a refugee. It is important to combat that misinformation that is out there.”
Written by Stacey Fowler
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