Canadian Military Sets Up Camp for New Refugees from the US in Quebec
There are 700 people waiting to be processed who crossed the border from the United States.
About a week after Montreal’s Olympic Stadium was turned into housing to accommodate the sudden influx of asylum seekers coming from the US, the Canadian military has stepped up to help out.
Soldiers have built a camp to house the refugees near the US-Canada border in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Que. The private campsite will lodge up to 500 people in heated tents with flooring, lighting and heating, according to a statement from the Armed Forces.
The military expects to finish setting up the camp today.
“Setting up tents, this is something obviously we're quite familiar with, we're pretty good at doing this,” Maj. Yves Desbiens, a spokesperson for the Canadian Armed Forces, told CBC. “But in terms of these capacities, this is not something we do often.”
He said that the asylum seekers will be provided with everything they need to be comfortable.
There are 700 people waiting to be processed who crossed the border from the US at Roxham Road, according to Patrick Lefort, a spokesperson for the Canada Border Services Agency.
It will take the agency two or three days to process the backlog of applications and because there are no beds for those who are waiting, the military built the tent village to help.
More than 3,300 asylum seekers have crossed the border into Quebec between Jan. 1 and June 30. In the month of July alone, there were more than 1,000 asylum seekers that arrived from the US, many of Haitian descent.
US President Donald Trump announced in May that he would not extend the protection status of Haitians in the US, so up to 58,000 could face deportation in January 2018, according to CBC.
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The protection status was granted following Haiti’s earthquake in 2010, but the Department of Homeland Security now considers Haiti to be a safe country.
Crossing into Canada doesn’t guarantee the asylum seekers will receive refugee status. Newcomers could be deported from Canada if their application is refused.