Refugees in the U.S. fearing a worsening climate of xenophobia in the wake of a divisive U.S. presidential campaign are flocking to Canada in growing numbers.
Manitoba’s Welcome Place refugee agency has helped 91 claimants between Nov. 1 and Jan. 25, more than the agency normally sees in a year.
Most braved the freezing prairie winter to walk into Canada.
“We haven’t had something before like this.
“We don’t know what to do,” Maggie Yeboah, President of the Ghanaian Union of Manitoba, which has helped refugees get medical attention and housing said.
There is a temporary restraining order by a U.S. judge on President Donald Trump’s executive order.
However, Canadian advocacy organisations are bracing for a greater influx of asylum-seekers.
This include those who are driven in part by the contrast between the ruling Liberal government’s on the acceptance of Syrian refugees in Canada with Trump’s anti-foreigner rhetoric.
“They will make a dash for Canada, whether they are going to go through cold weather to die or not.
Since late summer, 27 men from Ghana walked to Manitoba from the U.S.’’ Abdikheir Ahmed, a Somali immigrant in Manitoba’s capital Winnipeg who helps refugees make claims Yeboah said.
Two lost all their fingers to frostbite in December and nearly froze to death.
According to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), over 7,000 refugee applicants entered Canada in 2016 through land ports of entry from the U.S., up to 63 per cent from 2015.