A stream of people in increasing numbers have recently fled for Canada, crossing through snow and dangerous, freezing conditions.
Many of them say they are concerned about their lives and safety following President Donald Trump’s executive order barring refugees and travelers from seven countries entry into the US.
The Safe Third Country Agreement between Canada and the United States requires people to apply for refugee protection in the first safe country they arrive in — under which, the US is considered a safe country.
But immigrant advocates in Canada want this law scrapped and say the US is no longer a safe country. They told CNN’s Canadian partner network CBC that under the agreement, people who seek refugee status in Canada from the US will be turned away at official border crossings. As a result, this encourages people to make treacherous and dangerous journeys to sneak into the country.
Nearly 100 people have crossed into the small border town of Emerson in nearly two months.
The recent influx has pitted the town of Emerson in somewhat of a crisis. Many say they recognize the people fleeing in these conditions are clearly desperate, but want to ensure the safety and security of the border and their town.