Tuesday, 24 October, 2017

Haiti thanks Canada for accepting refugees from US

A woman crosses into RCMP custody A woman crosses into RCMP custody
Juana Turner | 10 August, 2017, 00:13

Quebec Immigration Minister Kathleen Weil said in a news release on Monday that 2,388 asylum seekers are now being housed temporarily in Montreal.

Asylum seekers wait to be processed at the Canada Border Services Agency office in Lacolle, Que., Friday, August 4, 2017.

Numerous hundreds of people who are crossing the Canada-United States border into Quebec to seek asylum are of Haitian descent.

"As soon as people arrive (in Montreal), not only do we find them a place to stay but we make sure it's safe, that they have the meals they need and that it's hygienic", Dupuis said.

Daniel Le Bouthillier, a spokesman at the Department of National Defence, said the Canadian Armed Forces were aware of the hard situation that requires significant resources.

"The Canadian Armed Forces will have no role in security matters", said Evan Koronewski, a spokesperson for the Department of National Defence.

Authorities are also facing logistical challenges in providing schooling, accommodation and other services once asylum seekers get to Montreal.

Patrick Lefort, a spokesman for the Canada Border Services Agency, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation there is now a backlog of asylum seekers at Roxham Road, a popular crossing point near Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Quebec.

Officials at Immigration Canada said the number of asylum seekers illegally crossing into Quebec is averaging 200 per day, up from 50 daily two weeks ago.

Mayor Denis Coderre said the shelter, which opened Sunday evening and can accommodate about 300 people, is well organized and suitably equipped. The majority of them, 3,350, crossed into Quebec, while 646 crossed into Manitoba, and 332 people crossed into British Columbia.

There are now about 700 asylum seekers waiting to be processed, many of them Haitians who were allowed into the United States under temporary protection status after a massive quake struck that country in 2010.

This year, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security extended their status through next January, but officials said in May that people covered under that status should begin acquiring travel documents to return to Haiti.

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