New surge in migrants crossing US-Canada border

A cab drops off a couple of asylum seekers at the US/Canada border near Champlain, New York cabs regularly drop off asylum seekers on the US side of the border

More than 5,700 asylum seekers crossed illegally from the US into Canada last month, a rise of almost 80 percent on July, government figures show.

Canada has seen a surge of refugee claimants in recent months, especially into the province of Quebec.

Crossings have increased relatively steadily since January.

There were 5,712 people intercepted by the Mounties last month at the Canada-US border, bringing this year’s total to 13,211.

In Manitoba, 80 people were intercepted after crossing the border. In British Columbia, 102 people were stopped.

But the vast majority – 5,530 – crossed into Quebec in the first part of the month, where people can easily cross a ditch at the end of a rural New York state road into Canada.

The influx into the predominantly French-speaking province was led by Haitians who had been living legally in the US, protected by a programme that extended temporary protection from deportation to Haitian citizens after the devastating 2010 earthquake.

The Trump administration has hinted it will not extend that protection when it expires in January 2018.

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Canada military builds refugee camp for refugees from US

Refugees cross at Roxham Road in Quebec

The Canadian military is building a camp to house the growing number of refugees crossing the US border, officials have said.

The camp would house up to 500 asylum seekers in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Quebec, near Plattsburgh, New York.

The construction begins about a week after Montreal turned its Olympic Stadium into a shelter for refugees arriving from the US.

More than 3,300 people crossed into Quebec between 1 January and 30 June.

The military-built camp would house hundreds of asylum seekers in heated tents fitted with flooring and electricity while they wait for their refugee applications to be processed, said a statement from the military.

Patrick Lefort, a spokesman for the Canada Border Services Agency, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation there is currently a backlog of asylum seekers at Roxham Road, a popular crossing point near Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Quebec.

It will take about two or three days for Canada Border Services to process the 700 asylum applications. In the meantime, there is no place for them to stay.