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OTTAWA U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John
Kelly on Friday met Canadian officials to discuss an influx of
asylum-seekers crossing into Canada from the United States that
is putting pressure on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Emergency responders and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
are struggling to respond to people defying wintry conditions to
cross the undefended border near Emerson, Manitoba.
So far several hundred asylum seekers, mainly from Africa
but also the Middle East, have entered Canada. The refugees and
migrant agencies blame the exodus on moves by U.S. President
Donald Trump to clamp down on immigration.
Manitoba premier Brian Pallister is demanding Trudeau’s
Liberal government provide money and resources.
Ottawa says there is a chance the flow of people will
increase as the weather improves.
Kelly is scheduled to meet Public Safety Minister Ralph
Goodale, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and Immigration
Minister Ahmed Hussen during a day of talks in Ottawa.
“Obviously, there are a number of important border issues
that need very, very careful attention and we’ll want to discuss
those with the Secretary,” Goodale told reporters this week.
Canada also wants to discuss the flow of trade across the
5,500 mile (8,850 km) frontier and allegations by Canadian
citizens of harsh treatment at the hands of U.S. border guards.
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