ST. JOHNSBURY, Vermont, USA –
The immigration agreement announced Friday by US President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau aims to end a process that has allowed tens of thousands of migrants from around the world to cross the border between the two countries on foot. the state of New York and the province of Quebec.
Since early 2017, these migrants have entered Canada via Roxham Road outside of Champlain, New York, where a Royal Canadian Mounted Police checkpoint has been set up to process the process about eight kilometers (5 miles) from the official Champlain crossing. the border where they would be forced to return to the United States.
The agents warn that if they go any further they will be arrested. They do so, and without handcuffs, the processing officials send them back to Canada, where they are processed for asylum while they live, which often takes years.
The new policy states that any asylum seeker who is not a US or Canadian citizen and is caught in transit within 14 days is returned across the border. It will take effect one moment after midnight on Saturday, a swift execution designed to prevent an influx of asylum seekers trying to cross, according to Canadian officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the deal in advance.
“We are expanding the Third Safe Country Agreement to apply not only at designated ports of entry, but across the entire land border, including at inland waterways, to ensure equitable and more orderly migration between our two countries,” Canada’s announcement.
Canada also agreed to allow 15,000 migrants to “on a humanitarian basis from the Western Hemisphere per year, with a path to economic opportunities to address forced displacement, as an alternative to irregular migration.”
Some of the last migrants to do so were about eight people from two families, one from Haiti and one from Afghanistan, who arrived on the Roxham Road side shortly after dawn on Friday. They both said they had to go around the roads to get there.
Gerson Solay 28. Bianca carried her daughter to the border. He said he did not have the necessary documents to stay in the United States.
“Why is Canada the last destination,” he said before being taken into custody to face charges.
The agreement was announced as the US Border Patrol also responds to a sharp increase in illegal crossings, in this case from north to south, along the rare Canadian border. Almost everything happens in northern New York and Vermont, along the stretch of border close to Canada’s two largest cities: Toronto and Montreal.
Although the numbers remain small compared to the US-Mexico border, the crossings have become so frequent that the Border Patrol is sending more personnel to the region and migrants to Vermont with times before authorities appear.
The Canadian authorities are struggling with the problem in early 2017. Many northern migrants say they fled President Donald Trump’s immigration measures, which were hostile to their presence in the country and remain in place under his successor.
These migrants have the benefit of a 2002 agreement between the United States and Canada, under which asylum seekers file their claims in the first country they arrive. Migrants are told at the official crossing to return to the United States, but those who have arrived in Canada can stay through any other port of entry and apply for protection.
Meanwhile, the migrants traveling south are overwhelming the US authorities.
Border Patrol agents made 628 apprehensions of migrants entering Canada legally in February, five times the number at the same time a year earlier. Those numbers are almost nothing compared to those on the southern border – where more than 220,000 stops were made in December, but in percentage terms they represent a large increase.
In the Swanton Sector of the Border Patrol, which covers New Hampshire, Vermont and part of New York, agents made 200 arrests in February, more than a dozen times more than a year ago. Almost half of those coming from Canada are Mexicans, who do not need visas to fly to Canada.
The police officers of St. Johnsbury, Vermont, a town located 6,000 hours from the border, advised public authorities to unload the migrant patrol from the first minute notices into the town’s reception center. This same thing had happened several times in the last few weeks.
The Customs and Protection (CBP) office said the migrants transported to St. Johnsbury were prohibited from entering the United States without authorization and notified when they had to appear at an immigration hearing.
In St. They dropped in Johnsbury because it has a bus station from where they can travel to the larger city.
“In these circumstances, CBP works with local authorities to ensure the safety of all concerned, residents and migrants – and to maintain the stability of the population’s resources,” the statement said.
But local authorities said no time had been given to prepare. They are now setting up a system to provide migrants with the services they need.
On Thursday, the Haitian couple and their children, boys, ages 17 and 9, and a girl 15, were brought to the reception center. The family, who did not want to give their names, wanted to take the car to Miami.
They said they had been in Canada for two months, but refused to reveal their reasons for traveling.
They did not catch Thursday’s course, which would have taken them to connect with Boston, from where they would have continued their journey to Miami. The local group of volunteers got food and overnight accommodation.
Police Chief Tim Page said St. Johnsbury is willing to help migrants, but not at a rush hour.
“We’re deciding what we’re going to do when these families come in,” he said. “We don’t have a plan yet, but I’m sure it will work better.”
Associated Press contributors include Rob Gillies in Ottawa, Ontario.