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Spike in refugees risking life and limb to walk across border from the US into Canada

Posted by on Jan. 13, 2017 at 4:07 PM
  • 4 Replies
http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/manitoba/refugees-manitoba-emerson-crossing-1.3926754

The number of asylum seekers crossing the Canada-U.S. border into Manitoba on foot instead of through official ports of entry has risen fivefold in the past three years.

In the 2013-2014 fiscal year, 68 people illegally crossed the international border near the small, southern Manitoba community of Emerson and claimed refugee status, according to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). That jumped to 340 in 2015-2016.

This fiscal year's numbers have already surpassed that, with 410 asylum seekers making the journey between April and December 2016.

According to Jacquie Callin, a CBSA spokeswoman, most of those crossing near Emerson are from Somalia, which has been wracked by civil war and political instability since the overthrow of military dictator Siad Barre in 1991.

Canada has the reputation of being a land of liberty and appeals to the unprecedented number of refugees displaced by the world's various conflicts and crises, said immigration lawyer Bashir Khan.

"What we are seeing as Canadians at our borders is basically a symptom of what a chaotic, messed-up world we live in," he said.

Khan said he is especially troubled by the number of people crossing unsupervised sections of the U.S.-Canada border in the cold winter months.

"Normally, we don't get refugee claimants arriving from the U.S. in the winter by foot," said Khan. "These desperate souls … are coming to Canada at such great risk."

Under the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement signed in 2002, individuals must seek asylum in the country in which they first arrive, with a few exceptions. For instance, if a Somali refugee who arrived in the United States presented themselves at the Canadian border seeking asylum, they would be sent back to the U.S. unless they had family in Canada.

Refugees can avoid being turned back by crossing somewhere other than an official port of entry or border checkpoint.

It's that threat of being turned back at official border crossings that is largely behind the increase in the number of asylum seekers circumventing official checkpoints, said Janet Dench, executive director of the national non-profit Canadian Council for Refugees.

http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/manitoba/refugees-frostbite-manitoba-1.3930146

A Ghanaian refugee who almost died during a trek to cross the U.S.-Canada border into Manitoba on Christmas Eve will lose all of his fingers, a toe and possibly his arms.
by on Jan. 13, 2017 at 4:07 PM
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Replies (1-4):
nononenever
by Silver Member on Jan. 13, 2017 at 4:08 PM
I wonder if some of these people do not realize the risk they are taking with cold weather - just how dangerous it can be.
Dzyre1115
by Gold Member on Jan. 13, 2017 at 4:10 PM
It's the world that we're living in.....
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
MistyMoo
by Member on Jan. 13, 2017 at 4:13 PM
I was just listening to something similar on the news yesterday. It's sad. I'm sure most of those people don't know how dangerous the cold can get.
Eva.Destruction
by Bronze Member on Jan. 13, 2017 at 6:29 PM
I remember a documentary a while ago about Mexicans sending their children to sneak over the border trying to seek refugee in the US some as young as 10 + anyway, they had to pass through the desert to wait for their coyotes (I believe that's what their called) and more than half wouldn't survive the temperatures, just all around sad.

Quoting nononenever: I wonder if some of these people do not realize the risk they are taking with cold weather - just how dangerous it can be.
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