As Canada seeks to relax citizenship rules in the country for newcomers, its borders are teeming with asylum seekers from the US, wanting to cross over into Canada.
While some of the people seeking asylum, haven’t been in the US for more than a few days or weeks, others have been living there for years.
According to Constable Enrique Gasse of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), “Most of the people want to come to Canada to become Canadian citizens.”
As per the official data of the Canadian Government, there have been over 13,000 people who have illegally crossed into Canada from the US, this year.
This figure is over five times the number of asylum seekers intercepted on the US-Canada borders by the RCMP last year.
There were more than 5,700 refugees that illegally crossed into Canada in August, 2017 alone.
These people tend to avoid checkpoints and most of them just walk into Canada where its borders meet New York’s rural dead end.
Professor Mireille Paquet – a postdoctoral fellow serving at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs in Harvard University said:
“We are living a lot of uncertainty about immigration reforms in the US…Whether that’s going to happen or not, I think there’s a lot of uncertainty for populations.”
Experts on the matter believe that Trump’s rigid stance on immigration as opposed to Trudeau’s welcoming approach towards newcomers is what drives most of these refugees to move to Canada – even though there is no guarantee of citizenship from the Canadian government.
Guillaume Cliche-Rivard – a Canadian immigration lawyer believes that these migrants from across the globe have little choice.
“When we compare what’s going on in the states, even though there is uncertainty about Canada, the uncertainty is still less than what they might be facing in the states…
When you have a lose-lose situation, you may choose the one that you’re less losing,” – he said.
Meagan Kozlovs is a reporter for Debate Report. She’s worked and interned at Global News Toronto and CHECX. Megan is based in Toronto and covers issues affecting her city. In addition to her severe milk shake addiction, she’s a Netflix enthusiast, a red wine drinker, and a voracious reader.