Canadian authorities reiterated this week that those who pass the border on foot do not have a free entry to Canada.

Considering that many of those who are crossing the border between Canada and the United States , on foot and in search of refuge, come from Nigeria, the Minister of Immigration, Ahmed Hussen, will go to that country at the end of this month, to speak with the local authorities about the problem.

On Monday, federal ministers, in addition to Hussen, asserted that they are still working on this matter, in order to control the flow of asylum seekers. For the most part, these people are going through Quebec, because it is the easiest access point.

The Minister of Public Security of Canada, Ralph Goodale, said that “I will be emphatic, going through the border trying to avoid the law or the proper procedure does not represent a free entry to Canada.”

Visas for the USA

The Minister of Immigration explained that in many of the cases, those who seek refuge in this way are Nigerians who have obtained a visa to enter the United States, but who, after weeks in the neighboring country, cross the border with Canada, on foot. .

For this reason, Hussen said, the US began to approve fewer visas for Nigerians.

Recall at this point that according to the Safe Third Country Agreement, signed in 2002 and entered into force on  December 29, 2004 , a person must seek refuge in the  first country that arrives  from these two. This is what has led many families to  try to outline this agreement , seeking to enter the country without being detected by border officials,which represents the only way they can submit a request for refuge.

According to Minister Goodale, when people enter the country in this way, they are given a conditional exit order,because they need to prove to the government of Canada that they really need protection.

Given the high number of people who have been crossing the border in this way, the federal government was obliged to hire 70 more people , who are responsible for processing the applications.

The Minister of Immigration clarified, for his part, that this is an important point, because “when someone has a real request for refuge, we want to guarantee that we will find him as soon as possible, so that his life is not in a limbo. Equally, it is important that those people who do not have a real case of refuge can be processed quickly, so that they can be asked to leave Canada. “

The hiring of an additional 70 people generates a cost of 173 million dollars that were already included in the national budget, which will allow processing an additional 17,000 refugee applications per year.

This amount will also be used to build temporary spaces located on the Lacolle border , in order to alleviate the pressure that some shelters in Montreal experience.

Quebec relieved

The authorities of Quebec, whose border is the busiest for this type of immigrants, said they were happy to know that in Ottawa their federal counterparts are taking initiatives to deal with the situation.

In a statement, the Quebec government said it is happy that the federal government would establish a center near the border to quickly assess people seeking asylum, and then redirect them to different provinces.

The provincial government also said it was happy because Ottawa will establish temporary homes near the border,considering that the shelters created in the Belle Province are already full.

In 2017, more than 20,000 people applied for refuge, but in the first four months of 2018 there are about 7,500 applications.

In April alone, some 2,500 people crossed the border on foot through the Roxham Road, something that provincial authorities consider “unmanageable.”

70% of the people who had refuge hearings in 2017 were allowed to stay in Canada, while there was a large percentage of retreat for people from China, Hungary, Nigeria, Colombia and Haiti.


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