Liberals misleading asylum seekers over illegal border crossings: NDP MP Kwan

Patrice Gainsbourg
Agosto 23, 2017

The number of migrants at the Quebec border has swelled to 3,800 in August, more than during the entire month of July - and nearly five times the number that arrived in June - causing Ottawa to open temporary shelters in Quebec and Ontario to cope with the influx.

The federal Liberals have been accused by the Opposition Conservatives of being anything but proactive in their response to the increased numbers of asylum seekers coming into Canada since the start of the year.

Haitian-Canadian MP Emmanuel Dubourg will travel to Miami on Wednesday to try and counter misinformation which has driven thousands of Haitian asylum seekers to Canada in recent months.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will attend a meeting in Montreal Wednesday where a federal-provincial task force will review their next steps in handling the surge of asylum seekers crossing into Quebec from the U.S.

"Canada is an opening and welcoming society", he told journalists at a news conference in Montreal on Sunday.

Most of those seeking refugee status are Haitians afraid of deportation from the US if the Trump administration lifts the temporary protected status that was put in place after the 2010 quake.

It was granted after the 2010 natural disaster, but now the Department of Homeland Security considers Haiti to be a safe country.

More than 6,000 people have crossed illegally into Quebec from NY since July, the vast majority Haitians.

Ottawa is also using its diplomatic presence in the US and various other means to drive home the message that crossing the border into Canada irregularly does not give anyone an advantage, Hussen said.

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The cold truth of Canadian policy, however, is that only about 50 per cent of Haitians who file for asylum in Canada receive it and the Canadian government has resumed deportations to that country.

The government is ignoring what should be a manageable issue, she said.

"It is illegal, it is against our Canadian law, it is potentially risky and we discourage people from doing that", said Hussen.

Two Liberal cabinet ministers travelled to the Canada-U.S. border on Monday to warn that people making irregular crossings on foot were not getting a free pass into the country as Ottawa attempts to stem the flow of migrants.

"They knew it was going to be a problem this summer".

A spokesman for Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said security screenings had been conducted on the arrivals and "they are admissible to Canada; they are not being detained".

"To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith".

Rempel said Trudeau's statement was misleading and said he should make it more explicit that asylum seekers risk being deported to their country of origin if they enter Canada illegally.

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