Canadian military builds camp to house asylum seekers near United States border

Geneva Matthews
August 10, 2017

The site, located on a flat stretch of grass behind the building where asylum claimants are bused in from the border, was expected to accommodate up to 500 people.

The military would have no role in security matters, Le Bouthillier said in emailed statement.

Mr. Le Bouthillier said most of the soldiers will return to base once the camp is set up.

The Canadians arrest the migrants as soon as they step across the border, but the migrants prefer to take a chance by seeking asylum in Canada rather than risk being deported from the United States.

Last week, Montreal's Olympic Stadium was set up to handle asylum seekers after the YWCA became too crowded, but the stadium is booked for other uses beginning next month, said officials at a news conference, so the tent city is being constructed. Since then, many asylum seekers have tried to get refugee status in Quebec, a French-speaking province. In Canada, they become asylum seekers as their parents.

Asylum seekers wait to be processed at the Canada Border Services Agency office in Lacolle, Que., Friday, August 4, 2017.

Canadian authorities accepted 50.5 percent of the 410 refugee claims by Haitians heard in 2016, government data showed.

"Of this number, a little more than 700 people are staying in the Olympic stadium waiting for access to permanent lodging", she said.

"There is an enormous amount of fake information circulating saying that it is easy to come to Canada", said Marjorie Villefranche, general manager of Maison d'Haiti, a Montreal community center that assists Haitian immigrants.

Many of those who have arrived are originally from Haiti and fear being sent back to that country should US President Donald Trump end a program that granted them temporary protected status following the massive 2010 quake that devastated Haiti.

Other reports by VideoGamingPros

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