POLITICS

Feds Reaching Out To More Would-Be Asylum Seekers Beyond Haitians

More than 6,000 people have crossed illegally into Quebec from New York since July.

09/01/2017 14:02 EDT | Updated 09/01/2017 14:02 EDT
Christinne Muschi / Reuters
A Haitian refugee walks from his tent, one of the many set up by the Canadian Armed Forces to deal with the influx of asylum seekers at border in Lacolle, Quebec, Canada August 10, 2017. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi

OTTAWA — The Liberal government is expanding its outreach efforts in the U.S. beyond the Haitian community to drive home the message that seeking asylum in Canada is not a sure bet.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau, head of the federal-provincial task force charged with managing an unprecedented flow of asylum seekers, says those thinking about crossing the border into Canada need to know that they must meet specific criteria to qualify.

Liberal MP Emmanuel Dubourg recently went to Miami to spread this message through the Haitian diaspora there, and Garneau says they will extend that effort into other communities in the U.S.

More than 6,000 people have crossed illegally into Quebec from New York since July, the vast majority of them being Haitians.

Garneau says the Liberal government is also hoping to speed up the process by opening an additional facility in Montreal and is still looking for ways to accelerate claimants getting temporary work permits.

He also says they are looking at using trailers to replace the tents that are currently housing asylum seekers at the border, in case things do not slow down in time for the cold Canadian winter.