07/17/2018 20:46 EDT | Updated 07/17/2018 21:18 EDT

Conservatives Yank Attack Ad That Showed Black Migrant Entering Canada

Tory MPs blame the PM for an influx of asylum-seekers in Canada.

The Conservative party deleted an attack ad depicting a black migrant entering Canada through a broken fence from its Twitter account Tuesday.

Federal Conservatives pulled an ad from their Twitter account on Tuesday as critics called it "racist" and "unforgivable."

The ad shows a black man walking over a graphic of a tweet by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to enter Canada through a broken fence. Superimposed on the photo is a headline from the Financial Post newspaper: "Trudeau's holier-than-thou tweet causes migrant crisis — now he needs to fix what he started."

Conservative party spokesman Cory Hann told The Canadian Press the ad was axed because the situation at the border is not about any one group of people.

Hann said the original photo, which shows an actual person "illegally'' crossing over the Canadian border, had been used by a number of media outlets with stories about the surge in asylum seekers.

Some decried the ad on Twitter.

Tory MPs blame Trudeau for an influx of migrants and refugees seeking asylum in Canada.

In January 2017, Trudeau wrote on Twitter that Canada would welcome refugees regardless of their religion. Without mentioning U.S. President Donald Trump by name, Trudeau was responding to the president's indefinite ban on Syrian refugees and travellers from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen denies that Trudeau's tweet encouraged people to cross into Canada from the U.S.

"The Conservative charge that the recent flow of asylum seekers into Canada began after a tweet by the prime minister is not only false, it's ridiculous," he wrote in The Toronto Star on Tuesday.

Last month, 1,263 people claimed asylum between official ports of entry at the U.S.-Canada border, according to government data. That's the lowest monthly total in the past year, compared to a high of 5,712 in August 2017.

In February 2017, the month after Trudeau's tweet, there were 678 asylum claims from irregular migrants.

With files from The Canadian Press

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