Getting refugee status in Canada isn’t easy, Couillard says
SHERBROOKE, Que. — Would-be asylum-seekers need to understand it isn’t easy to get refugee status in Canada, Quebec’s premier said Saturday. Philippe Couillard said it’s important that anyone who is considering joining the surge of people who have been crossing the United States border into Canada in recent weeks know what they’re facing.
In the first week of August, 1,798 people crossed the Canada-U.S. border to claim refugee status.
As of Friday, 1,200 people were waiting to be processed at the Lacolle border station.
Many of the new arrivals are Haitian nationals who fear they could be deported if the U.S. lifts a program that granted them so-called “temporary protected status’’ following the earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010.
Canada already lifted its own stay on deportations to Haiti last year.
Couillard pointed out there are strict rules governing who gets political asylum and historically only about half of the applicants from Haiti are approved.