Canada sends soldiers to U.S. border where refugees cross

A woman crosses into RCMP custody

Canadian police have set up a reception center on their side of the border.

Canada has deployed soldiers to erect tents near the USA border to temporarily house hundreds of asylum seekers crossing from NY state, officials said on Wednesday, an influx of mostly Haitians prompted by fear of deportation by the US government.

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 camp is being built in anticipation of a large influx of asylum seekers from the US, said Stéphane Malépart, a spokesperson for Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

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Mr. Le Bouthillier said most of the soldiers will return to base once the camp is set up.

The site, located on a flat stretch of grass behind the building where asylum claimants are bused in from the border, was expected to accommodate up to 500 people.

In the United States, the Trump administration is considering ending a program that granted Haitians so-called "temporary protected status" following the massive natural disaster that struck their homeland in 2010.

Canada said last week it planned to house some migrants in Montreal's Olympic Stadium.

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On Wednesday, the Quebec government announced the opening of another facility, this one at the Royal Victoria Hospital with a capacity of between 300 and 320 places.

It will take about two or three days for Canada Border Services to process the 700 asylum applications.

Canadian authorities accepted 50.5 percent of the 410 refugee claims by Haitians heard in 2016, government data showed.

Numerous recent refugee claimants crossing into Quebec are Haitians who have been living in America for years but now face deportation.

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