Military to build camp to house asylum seekers at Quebec border

Military to build camp to house asylum seekers at Quebec border

Those who are undocumented see Canada as a way to legalize their status, believing their chances of doing so in the United States are slim under the Trump administration, which has taken an increasingly hard line against immigration.

On Wednesday, almost 100 soldiers were sent to Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle - just across the border from Champlain, New York - to erect heated tents to temporarily house as many as 500 people, the armed forces said in a statement.

The Canadian immigration ministry - on its Facebook page on August 5 - discouraged illegal entries and noted that messages posted elsewhere online suggesting that Canada is inviting people to seek refugee status were wrong.were wrong. Military personnel will not participate in security matters, the armed forces said, and most of the soldiers will return to their home bases once the camp is built.

While under Canada's Third Safe Country agreement with the US asylum seekers who attempt to cross at legal border crossings are turned away at the border because the U.S.is considered a safe country, the government says under the UN Refugee Convention it is compelled to hear the asylum claims of those who cross the border through unofficial crossings and make their refugee claims inland.

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Most asylum-seekers arriving in Quebec are Haitians who have been living in the United States for years, but now they are facing deportation threats.

The military-built camp would house hundreds of asylum seekers in heated tents fitted with flooring and electricity while they waited for their refugee applications to be processed, a statement from the military said.

By doing so, they aim to skirt a 2004 agreement between Canada and the United States that forces most migrants to apply for asylum in the first country in which they arrive.

He said the wait is two to three days and there are now no beds, just benches and chairs.

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The camp - consisting of modular tent shelters with floors, lighting and heating - aims to rectify this. The stadium is now being used as a temporary shelter for some of the hundreds of asylum claimants pouring across the New York-Quebec border every day. A few will stay on to maintain equipment.

The wave of Haitians stems from their loss of "temporary protected status" in the United States, which was granted to 60,000 Haitians after the Caribbean nation was devastated by a 2010 quake.

In May, then-DHS Secretary John Kelly announced TPS for Haitians would be extended one more time, until January 2018, with a strong indication that this will be the final extension.

But the government of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau claims that, under the 1951 U.N. Refugee Convention, it is compelled to hear asylum claims made by people who cross the border illegally, through unofficial crossings, and make their refugee claims inland.

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Heightened tension is also tied to a USA investigation into links between members of Trump's campaign team and Russian officials. Russian Federation has denied seeking to sway the US election and Trump has denied any collusion.

The Trudeau government ended its own TPS designation for Haitians past year, inviting its 3,200 holders to apply for residency on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

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