Canadian military builds camp to house asylum seekers near U.S. border

10 August, 2017, 00:10 | Author: Regina Lloyd
  • Litter on the U.S. side of Roxham Road

About 100 Canadian soldiers were near the American border Wednesday, setting up a camp to house some 500 of the asylum-seekers who continue to stream into Quebec from New York State.

Canadians soldiers are being deployed to St-Bernard-de-Lacolle to erect tents for asylum seekers attempting to enter Canada from the United States.

The same could happen in Canada if an asylum seeker's claim is rejected.

Tents were assembled Wednesday by the Canadian military as temporary shelters to accommodate a surge in asylum seekers crossing into Quebec from the United States.

Daniel Le Bouthillier, a spokesman at the Department of National Defence, said the Canadian Armed Forces were aware of the hard situation that requires significant resources. All but a few will return to their home base once the site is completed.

Nearly 100 troops will be used to set up the camp site, which will consist of "modular tent shelters with lighting and heating and may temporarily accomodate close to 500 people", Department of National Defence spokesperson Evan Koronewski told CTV Montreal in an email.

Authorities are also facing logistical challenges in providing schooling, accommodation and other services once asylum seekers get to Montreal.




Immigration Canada said the number of asylum seekers crossing illegally near the Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle border crossing has quadrupled in the past two weeks from about 50 a day to 200 a day.

Numerous arrivals are being housed in Montreal at the Olympic Stadium. 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.

More than 3,300 people crossed into Quebec between 1 January and 30 June.

Numerous recent refugee claimants crossing into Quebec are Haitians who have been living in America for years but now face deportation.

More than 50,000 people who were affected by Haiti's 2010 quake have been living in the United States under "temporary protected status" for seven years.

It was granted after the 2010 natural disaster, but now the Department of Homeland Security considers Haiti to be a safe country.

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