WINNIPEG – A Winnipeg organization that offers temporary housing to newcomers is responding about the influx of refugees walking into Manitoba from the U.S.
Welcome Place and the Winnipeg Foundation spoke about recent spike in asylum-seekers at Monday afternoon.
More than 60 people seeking asylum in Canada were arrested over the weekend, adding to the small but growing number of refugees who are braving bitterly cold winter conditions to cross the border after Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily barring people from seven Muslim-majority countries.
On Friday evening, at least 21 asylum-seekers were caught by RCMP walking from the U.S. into Emerson, Man.
Last week, the small town of fewer than 700 people held an emergency meeting with members of the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the RCMP to discuss concerns over the recent surge of refugees crossing the border.
Migrants must apply for asylum in whichever is the first country they arrive in, according to a 2004 deal between Canada and the US known as the Safe Third Country Agreement.
Rita Chahal, with Welcome Place, greeted the refugees Saturday after they had finished being pprocessed with the CBSA.
Welcome Place offers temporary homes for newcomers in Winnipeg. But the centre said they are now at capacity.
While this weekend only saw one big group of asylum seekers make the overnight trek to Emerson from the U.S., the reeve of Emerson said he doesn’t think this will be the last group of refugees he’ll be seeing.