Just days after Montreal’s Olympic Stadium was turned into temporary housing for refugees, Montrealers have gathered to show their support for the city’s newcomers.
Hundreds of people stood outside the stadium on Sunday to let the refugees know they were welcome.
The event was organized by Solidarity Across Borders and the Non-Status Action Committee, who believe in the regularization of undocumented immigrants.
“We are here with them, to support them and to help them establish themselves,” Serge Bouchereau, an organizer from the Non-Status Action Committee, said into a megaphone. “This is a vast, rich country that can welcome many, many people who are in bad situations and can't stay in their own countries.”
The group of people held signs and balloons, and shouted "refugees welcome!" in Creole.
Among the crowd were people that had arrived in Canada as immigrants and wanted to show their support.
“I’m an immigrant myself, so this is very near and dear to my heart. I had to go through the immigration system as well, I know it’s difficult, and I’m really hoping that our administrations will put forward the resources to actually help these people, that they’ll have [the] occasion to actually live in dignity in Canada,” Alexis Audoin told The Canadian Press.
Montreal’s Olympic Stadium is being used to temporarily house some of the more than 1,000 asylum seekers who entered Quebec from the United States in July.
There has been a significant surge in asylum seekers coming from the US. Between 250 and 300 people are now crossing the Canada-US border every day, according to City of Montreal.
Many of these people are originally from Haiti and worried that US President Trump will revoke the protective status they received in the US following the country’s earthquake in 2010.
Up to 58,000 people could be deported to Haiti in January 2018, according to CBC.
A demonstration against the arrival of the asylum seekers was supposed to take place but it was announced that it was cancelled on Saturday.