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article imageCanada warns immigrants in the U.S. about fleeing to the north

By Karen Graham     Jun 9, 2018 in World
Miami - Canada officials want to make it clear for would-be immigrants looking to cross the U.S.-Canada border that they should do so legally.
Canadian officials started visiting the United States last summer when they first saw their illegal immigration numbers going up.
At that time, they visited Los Angeles, home to many Mexican and Central American immigrants. They have since then made several visits to the Little Haiti neighborhood in Miami, Florida.
And last week, while President Donald Trump was preparing to attend the G7 Conference in Canada, Randy Boissonnault, a liberal member of Parliament and a special advisor to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, visited the Canadian consulate in Miami in an attempt to educate would-be immigrants about the limitations of the Canadian immigration system.
Women in Miami's Little Haiti neighborhood at a May rally to press for the extension of "t...
Women in Miami's Little Haiti neighborhood at a May rally to press for the extension of "temporary protected status" for Haitians who came to the United States after the 2010 earthquake disaster
JOE RAEDLE, GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File
In the past year, Canada has seen a dramatic increase in the number of U.S.-based immigrants crossing illegally into Canada, mostly into the Quebec province that borders New York and other northeastern U.S. states.
And in August last year, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police caught over 5,000 people trying to cross into Canada illegally. Most of them were Haitian immigrants who will soon lose Temporary Protected Status (TPS) as part of the Trump administration's phase-out of the program.
"People seem to think that if they cross the border there's this land of milk and honey on the other side," Boissonnault said from the Canadian consulate in Miami on Thursday, according to Newsweek. "What we want is for people to have the right information. We want them to do the right thing for their families."
There is a legal way to enter Canada
Olga Radchenko, director of parliamentary affairs for Canada's Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship said officials in Canada's 12 Consulates across the U.S. have been delivering the same message to communities most likely to try to illegally enter Canada.
"Canadians are broadly supportive of immigration," Radchenko said. "But Canadians truly believe in order and well-managed immigration." And the way Canada has responded to the global refugee crisis is part of the reason that U.S. immigrants look toward Canada for relief from the U.S. crackdown on illegal immigrants.
Canada is truly a nation of immigrants and welcomes those people wanting to immigrate to their country. Canada also welcomes people fleeing war and famine in the Middle East and Africa, easing the burden on European countries.
This is an entirely different picture of how the issue is handled in the U.S., where Trump has been trying to limit legal immigration and has tried to halt the refugee program, all in the name of national security.
Unlike the U.S. president, Canadian officials would not comment on the Trump administration's actions on immigration, however, they did emphasize that Canada, like the United States, is a nation of immigrants.
Boissonnault told the story of his forefathers, who first landed in Canada in 1642. But he said it really "makes no difference if your family has lived in Canada for four centuries, four decades, four months, or four hours - A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian."
"Other than indigenous peoples...our country has been built on, and will continue to be built on immigration," he said. "But if you cross the border illegally, you will be breaking the law. You will be apprehended. And after that, you will be in detention."
More about Canada, Asylum seekers, fleeing US, legal immigration, legal process
 
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