Canada seeks US cooperation over refugee influx

Canada seeks US cooperation over refugee influx
Syrian refugees wait at Marka Airport in Amman, Jordan, to complete their migration procedures to Canada in this file photo. (AP)
Updated 05 March 2017

Canada seeks US cooperation over refugee influx

Canada seeks US cooperation over refugee influx

OTTAWA: As greater numbers of refugees flow from the US into Canada by land, Washington-pledged cooperation has become essential, Canada’s public safety minister said Saturday.
With US President Donald Trump beginning to tighten enforcement of immigration rules, and more than 11 million undocumented migrants living in the US, crossings into Canada have been increasing since the beginning of the year.
“We need to have a very good cooperative, seamless arrangement with the US to fully appreciate where the flow began, and all of the factors that are contributing to the migration,” said Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale during a visit to Emerson, Manitoba.
The recent wave of migrants to Canada originated mostly from East Africa and war-torn nations such as Syria.
“We need to make sure that we all have the same data and information about the makeup of this migration. It is clearly affecting Canada as the migrants come across the border,” Goodale said.
“The Americans have indicated that they are equally interested in fully getting the facts and understanding the genesis of this and we will work collaboratively and seamlessly with them,” he added.
But he did not say what that cooperation would look like, or when it would happen.
Federal police and immigration officials said some refugees appeared to have intended from the start to come to Canada after flying to the US on a visitor visa.
Others decided to come only after they were denied asylum south of the border, or because they feared deportation amid the current US crackdown.
From Jan. 1 to Feb. 21, a total of about 4,000 people filed refugee claims in Canada, up from 2,500 during the same period last year.
The figure includes border jumpers and those arriving from the US at border checkpoints.
Local officials say at least 180 asylum-seekers have crossed the border near Emerson since January.