Canada has a reputation for welcoming refugees — but with hundreds entering from the US each month, some fear that could change

roxham road migrant family

Asylum-seekers have been streaming into Canada via a tiny rural road in upstate New York for the last two years.
The surge began with immigrants who lived in the United States and feared the Trump administration’s immigration policies.
Though Canada has grown accustomed to the hundreds of crossings that occur each month, the issue has been a source of anger for some residents who live near the crossing, and an ongoing headache for federal leaders.
Polling even shows that few Canadians have confidence in the country’s ability to control the border-crossings.

CHAMPLAIN, NY — For the asylum-seekers who cross Canada’s border at a lonely, dead-end road in upstate New York, they view America’s northern neighbor as a safe haven that will protect them from the violence and poverty back home.

“I think Canadians are very good to immigrants,” Reinel Alfonso told INSIDER as he was about to cross the border on a cold October afternoon.

Alfonso said he fled Colombia after receiving threats from the largest rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

“In here, the USA, the people is not — some people is not — don’t like the Latin people,” he said.

Alfonso said he didn’t know a single person in Canada, and had no idea what fate would await him when he got there. But to him — and the 40,000 asylum-seekers who have illegally crossed into Canada from the US since 2017 — the risk was worth it.

Though Canada has grown accustomed in the last two years to the hundreds of asylum-seekers who illegally cross the border in Quebec via a small, upstate New York road, the issue continues to cause political strife for federal leaders, and angers some residents who live near the crossing.

Read more: THE OTHER BORDER ‘CRISIS’: While America is fixated on Mexico and the wall, thousands of migrants are fleeing for Canada in a dramatically different scene

Some Canadians who live along the road where asylum-seekers cross have complained about the disruption and activity from the constant foot traffic and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). The federal government even recently responded by pledging to compensate each resident who lives nearby with up to $25,000 for the trouble.

Internal public opinion polls the Canadian government conducted in March 2018 also reportedly show that few Canadians have confidence in the country’s ability to control the border-crossings.

In two surveys, just 43% of Canadian respondents contacted by phone — and 35% of respondents who completed an online survey — agreed that the government was appropriately handling the border-crossings, The Canadian Press reported.

Just 42% of phone respondents and 18% of online respondents said they thought the number of asylum-seekers coming to Canada was appropriate.

“Canadians are more receptive to refugees who have been selected by the government of Canada compared to those who come to Canada and claim asylum,” one internal document said, according to The Canadian Press.

Read more: 6 immigrants share why they fled to Canada at a rural New York border …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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