SAINT-BERNARD-DE-LACOLLE, Que. — Canada has sent about 100 soldiers to a remote spot on the Quebec-New York border where asylum seekers are crossing illegally.
The Canadian military said in a statement Wednesday that the soldiers will help the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canada Border Services Agency at the site.
They are preparing a place for tents that can hold almost 500 people. They will also install lighting and heating equipment.
The military says the soldiers won’t play a role in security and won’t be helping with law enforcement.
The military says that once the site is completed, only a few will soldiers will stay behind. The rest will go back to their home base.
The migrants fear the U.S. is becoming less welcoming and have decided to try their luck seeking asylum in Canada. Officials estimate that 400 people crossed the border at the site on Sunday alone.
Thousands of migrants are fleeing the United States for Canada via a remote back road in upstate New York.
The Canadians arrest the migrants as soon as they step across the border. But the migrants prefer to take a chance by seeking asylum in Canada rather than risk being deported from the United States.
Canadian police have set up a reception centre on their side of the border. It includes tents where migrants are processed before they are turned over to the government agency that handles their applications for refuge.
Officials estimate that 400 people crossed the border at the site on Sunday alone.
Canada said last week it planned to house some migrants in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium. It could hold thousands, but current plans only call for only 450.
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