Haitians flock to Canada, concerned about losing protected status in U.S.
Canada is scrambling to prepare temporary housing for an influx of people entering from the United States and seeking asylum.
About 250 asylum seekers, mainly from Haiti, are entering Montreal in French-speaking Quebec province each day, Reuters reported.
Soldiers are setting up tents along the border while officials process the new arrivals.
“We are aware of irregular border crossings by individuals who request refugee protection upon arrival in Canada,” the nation’s Immigration and Citizenship agency said in a Facebook post. “In some countries, messages have been circulating through channels such as WhatsApp which suggest that Canada is inviting individuals to seek refugee status here.
“In fact, the government of Canada discourages people from entering Canada outside of designated ports of entry as it can be dangerous and is a violation of the law.” The post links to the proper procedure to claim refugee protection.
Haitians in particular are flowing into the country because their temporary protected status will expire in January, unless the Department of Homeland Security extends it. The U.S. granted Haitians the protection from deportation following the massive 2010 earthquake.
When renewing the status in May, officials said conditions in Haiti were improving so the program might not be extended again.