Get­ting refugee sta­tus in Canada isn’t easy, Couil­lard says

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - CANADA -

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.

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