Canada: No plans for bor­der clam­p­down to de­ter asy­lum seek­ers from U.S.

The Washington Post Sunday - - THE WORLD - BY AMRAN ABOCAR

toronto — Canada is en­forc­ing bor­der laws and is will­ing to put more re­sources in place to deal with the in­flux of asy­lum seek­ers from the United States, but it will not tighten its bor­der to de­ter mi­grants cross­ing il­le­gally from the United States, a gov­ern­ment min­is­ter said Satur­day.

Pub­lic Safety Min­is­ter Ralph Goodale said the is­sue had not risen to a scale that re­quired hin­der­ing the flow of goods and peo­ple mov­ing across the world’s long­est un­de­fended bor­der.

Hun­dreds of peo­ple, mainly from Africa and the Mid­dle East, have de­fied win­ter con­di­tions and walked across the bor­der, seek­ing asy­lum. They are flee­ing Pres­i­dent Trump’s im­mi­gra­tion crack­down, mi­grants and refugee agen­cies say.

Goodale vis­ited Emer­son, Man­i­toba, a small bor­der town that has seen some 200 il­licit cross­ings so far this year.

“We all need to work to­gether. We have to have good com­mu­ni­ca­tion with one an­other. This is a set of is­sues that span na­tional, pro­vin­cial and lo­cal re­spon­si­bil­i­ties,” Goodale told re­porters at a news con­fer­ence Satur­day.

Goodale an­nounced that 30,000 Cana­dian dol­lars ($22,000 Amer­i­can) and more re­sources would be given to the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s vol­un­teer fire depart­ment and other agen­cies in the com­mu­nity to cover costs as­so­ci­ated with the in­flux.

Mi­grants have been cross­ing through fields and ditches be­cause, un­der the Canada-United States Safe Third Coun­try Agree­ment, they are turned back at of­fi­cial bor­der cross­ings if they have al­ready made refugee claims in the United States. If they get onto Cana­dian soil be­fore be­ing ap­pre­hended, they are al­lowed to stay in Canada and go through the nor­mal refugee claim process.

Royal Cana­dian Mounted Po­lice in Man­i­toba say 183 peo­ple have walked across the bor­der into Emer­son from North Dakota in sub-zero tem­per­a­tures since Jan. 1. Goodale said the pace has picked up in re­cent weeks since the United States en­forced new, stricter im­mi­gra­tion stan­dards.

It’s un­com­mon to have such a wave of asy­lum seek­ers. The in­flux poses a po­lit­i­cal risk for Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau, who faces pres­sure from the left, which wants to let more in, and from the right, which fears an in­creased se­cu­rity risk.

Cana­dian and U.S. of­fi­cials are work­ing on a plan to ad­dress asy­lum seek­ers cross­ing into Canada il­le­gally, with Amer­i­can of­fi­cials keen to dis­cover how they en­tered the United States in the first place. U.S. Home­land Se­cu­rity Sec­re­tary John F. Kelly is to visit Canada this month for talks on the bor­der.

Goodale said it was im­por­tant for both coun­tries to have the same data and in­for­ma­tion about the mi­grants “to fully ap­pre­ci­ate where the flow be­gan and all of the fac­tors — and it’s not just one fac­tor — that are con­tribut­ing to the mi­gra­tion.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.