For a lot of migrants from nations comparable to Venezuela, Nigeria, Haiti and others, Roxham Road represents the final impediment earlier than getting into Canada and the prospect of a brand new life.
In 2022, almost 40 000 folks arrived in Canada by this route, twice as many as in 2017. Final January, greater than 5 000 migrants arrived right here with little else however their meagre possessions.
“I’ve at all times seen Canada on tv and I’ve at all times dreamed of going there. I’ve seen a fantastic nation and I wish to uncover it. As a result of in my nation, I suffered lots and I wish to have a greater life”, stated a Marcello, a migrant from Haiti.
After being checked and registered by police officers, the migrants are taken to the closest official border put up to file an asylum declare. Amongst the migrants are many households with kids.
“Youngsters are much more resilient. They’re simply… I do not assume they understand what is going on on. So it is not an enormous deal. They’re enjoying, they’re speaking in regards to the snow, they’re doing no matter. It is the mother and father who’re reacting extra and typically we see very sturdy emotional reactions from folks as they get able to cross”, stated Frances Ravensbergen, spokesperson for the NGO “Bridges not Borders”
However anti-migrant rhetoric is rising in Canada and there’s rising stress to shut this level of entry.
“We have already got fatalities. Closing Roxham Highway is clearly going to imply extra folks attempting to get throughout in a rustic the place winter is a really harmful time of 12 months. We’re speaking about pregnant ladies, we’re speaking about households with kids, so closing Roxham Highway, for us, is placing all these folks at risk”, argues Maryse Poisson, spokesperson of the NGO “Welcome Collective”.
The inflow of asylum seekers, notably through Roxham Highway, is predicted to be a subject of debate between President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in two weeks time when the American President visits Ottawa.
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