Monthly Archives: January 2018

Canada Tested By Refugee Arrivals As Nation Plans Increased Intake Levels

A man from Congo speaks with RCMP officers after illegally entering Canada on foot. By avoiding a legal crossing where he would be sent back to the US, the man is allowed to remain in Canada until his immigration status is decided. (photo: Lorne Matalon)

NPR transcript

MONTREAL, Quebec—The flow of people seeking refugee status in Canada has grown exponentially in recent months. More people have walked into the Province of Quebec since August than in all of 2016 across the entire length of the Canadian border. On one recent day, people from Yemen, Haiti, Burundi and Nigeria as they crossed illegally into Canada from upstate New York seeking  refugee status. Had they tried to cross at a legal border crossing, they would have been sent back immediately. The net result is acontinued flow of migrants on foot who don’t use legal border crossings, testing a nation that historically welcomes refugees.

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Canada’s refugee system has become overloaded since the U.S. presidential election. If you apply to stay in Canada as a refugee, you are supposed to get a hearing within 60 days. That just isn’t happening. There aren’t enough lawyers to process a mounting backlog. Now Canada is weighing its traditional welcome for refugees against the country’s ability to absorb them.

As of October 2017, UN peacekeepers have withdrawn from Haiti. They were there to stabilize the country, the western hemisphere’s poorest nation. (photo: Lorne Matalon)

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River of Refugees: Migrants Walk Into Canada Fearing Deportation From U.S.

Canada-US border at Roxham Road near Champlain, New York. Canada’s Royal Canadian Mounted Police staff this unofficial crossing 24 hours a day. (photo: Lorne Matalon)

NPR Transcript

NEW YORK, NY—Washington has ended a temporary residency program for almost 60,000 Haitians allowed to legally enter the United States following an earthquake in 2010. The program is called Temporary Protected Status (TPS). It allows people from nations hit by conflict or natural disaster to remain legally but temporarily in the US for up to 18 months. TPS has often been extended so that some people have remained legally in the US for several years.

The decision to terminate TPS for Haitians mandates a deadline to leave the US by mid-2019. 5400 Haitians are currently living legally in New York City. Mayor Bill de Blasio has expressed his dismay over the decision noting that Haitians have long been “making our city better.”

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Dr Jay Helias, a physician, was visiting the US when a 7-magnitude earthquake tore into Haiti. Helias was permitted to stay under TPS. She  continued her career in New York.

A man from Haiti scurries past Canadian police officers after crossing into Canada at night. (photo: Lorne Matalon)

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