6/25/2017
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The US border asylum seekers are risking death for to cross


Monday February 13, 2017

Farhan Ahmed hoped to find refuge in the United States after fleeing death threats in Somalia, but fear over a US crackdown on immigration sent him on another perilous journey - to Canada.
Farhan Ahmed hoped to find refuge in the United States after fleeing death threats in Somalia, but fear over a US crackdown on immigration sent him on another perilous journey - to Canada.


The 36-year-old was among nearly two dozen asylum seekers who braved bone-chilling cold on a February weekend to walk across the border, trudging through snow-covered prairies in the dead of night to make a claim in this country.

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It was a record number of arrivals for a single weekend in the small border town of Emerson, and Canadian officials said Thursday they are bracing for more.

US President Donald Trump's controversial ban on refugees and nationals from seven Muslim-majority nations has prompted many who had hoped for a new life in the US to flee north.

While the ban is currently on hold due to two successive defeats in federal court, Trump has warned he is weighing a new immigration order.

Among the first wave of immigrants to Canada in the wake of Trump's measure was a two-year-old boy who reportedly begged his mother to let him to die in the snow because he could walk no further.

Two others lost their fingers to frostbite in minus 20 degrees Celsius temperatures when they made the same trip in December.

Wayne Pfiel works at the Emerson hotel, just steps from the boundary. Asylum seekers, he said, often stop here for a moment of respite after walking up to 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) from the United States, coming in to ask if they have reached Canada.

Others have called police for help, and are taken to the closest border outpost, where they can file an asylum claim.

"They usually call us if they're cold or lost, and we find them on the side of the highway," said RCMP Corporal Paul Manaigre.

 



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