Canada military builds refugee camp for refugees from US

Canada military builds refugee camp for refugees from US

According to an estimate by the union representing Canadian customs workers, between 450 and 700 people are crossing the border every week.

The soldiers will have no role in security matters and will not participate in law-enforcement tasks.

Officials said once the site was completed, only a few will soldiers will stay behind.

Francine Dupuis, who oversees a Quebec government-funded program that helps asylum seekers, said 2,620 people are now being housed in temporary accommodation in Montreal.

Hundreds of Haitians have crossed into Quebec in recent weeks, spurred partly by false accounts of asylum seekers being able to immediately obtain residency after entering Canada.

The Canadian immigration ministry, on its Facebook page on August 5, discouraged illegal entries and noted that messages posted elsewhere online suggesting that Canada is inviting people to seek refugee status were wrong.

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To accommodate the influx of asylum seekers authorities earlier set a temporary shelter at Montreal's Olympic Stadium.

The wave of Haitians stems from their loss of "temporary protected status" in the United States, which was granted to 60,000 Haitians after the Caribbean nation was devastated by a 2010 natural disaster.

This year, the department extended their status through next January, but officials said in May that people covered under that status should begin acquiring travel documents to return to Haiti. In Canada, they become asylum seekers as their parents.

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

Earlier in the day, in nearby Hemmingford, some 40 asylum seekers sat under white tents at an impromptu reception centre that has sprung up on the Canadian side of a popular illegal border crossing.

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