On the morning after the U.S elections where President Trump was elected into office to lead the world’s most powerful country, Canada’s government immigration website crashed due to heavy overload, and over a million Americans googled “how to move to Canada”. After a little over a month in office and an executive order later, the number of people, including asylum seekers moving from the U.S to Canada shows no sign of slowing down.
There is a growing number of asylum seekers braving freezing temperatures in an attempt to cross from the United States into Canada. A wave of migrants fleeing the U.S and entering Canada through illegal means has increased since Donald Trump won the 2016 U.S presidential elections. On the other hand, legally moving to Canada is possible and the use of a certified immigration agency is important. The unstable political situation in the United States is unpredictable making Canada a better option for visitors and international students alike.
Quebec has seen the highest increase of anywhere across Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency says 452 people made a refugee claim at Quebec border crossings in January alone, including families with children taking the risky option of braving the harsh weather conditions. This number represents a nearly 230 percent increase from the same time last year.
Why people are fleeing the U.S for Canada
Many American citizens and the rest of the world at large view Canada as a much more favourable country to live in and settle in. Canada enjoys the status as one of the most progressive in the world, with free health care, a rapidly growing economy, tolerance for minorities, and a society that is welcoming to new immigrants and respects their cultural beliefs and identity.
The fact that Canada encourages highly educated, technically skilled people to settle in the country, while also carving out a place for humanitarian refugees, means citizens of the United States know they will have numerous job opportunities to choose from in a safe politically and economically stable environment. Recently, the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and the American president Donald Trump met in Washington to discuss issues regarding trade between the two nations.
The impasse brought by the aggressive regime of Donald Trump has created confusion and despair among immigrants especially from Muslim-majority countries to consider moving to Canada by any means. Many of those seeking refuge in areas including Manitoba come from one of the seven countries targeted by Donald Trump’s executive order. They are worried about being deported if they remain in the U.S.
The immigrants crossing the border are trying to find a way around a legal agreement signed between the U.S and Canada, called the Safe Third Country Agreement. Under the agreement, refugee claimants are required to request refugee protection in the first safe country they arrive in. Migrants can register a claim in Canada once they arrive in the country, which is the reason why many are taking the risk of crossing the border secretively.
A Spokesperson for the Canadian Council for Refugees Jane Dench said “It is a very sad situation, and it is not only in Quebec and Manitoba but the rest of the country as well. But this is the only option the refugees have”.
Dr. Paul Caulford, who runs the community Volunteer Clinics in Toronto, said at least three patients were last week treated for severe frostbite, while another pregnant woman said she was afraid to deliver in the United States. “All are women and children originally from sub-Saharan Africa, originally refugees or migrants to the U.S and have been there for more than a year. They all feared deportation from the U.S authorities after Donald Trump won the recent presidential elections.” Caulford said.
Rita Chahal of the Manitoba Interfaith Immigration Council said her agency opens up claims for no more than 70 refugees a year, but since December 2016 that number has already reached 120, including 40 in January alone. More than 80% of the asylum seekers are from Somalia, Djibouti, Libya, and Ghana. “They told us they were concerned by the political climate and policies with what’s happening in the U.S. They are afraid they will not get a fair refugee hearing and would be deported, “said Chahal at a media briefing held in Manitoba on Friday 10, February.
Even though President Trump’s immigration ban has been halted by the courts in America, the president is considering rewriting the executive order. Trump’s executive order bans citizens from seven Muslim countries from entering the U.S, these countries include Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen and indefinitely bans entry for all Syrian refugees.
The Canadian government continues to work with Canadians, including private sponsors, non-governmental organizations, and provincial, territorial, and municipal governments to welcome Syrian refugees and immigrants from around the world regardless of their race, or religion. Canada has received and successfully resettled 40,000 Syrian refugees, while as of August 2016, the United States had just received its 10,000th Syrian refugee.
There are many players involved in helping newcomers, including refugees, adapt to life in Canada. Supportive social networks and service provider organizations are essential to their integration. Through these networks and organizations, individuals are able to get information, find housing, jobs, and improve their language skills, and foster civic involvement, gain critical cultural knowledge, and receive emotional and even financial support.
The Canadian government understands that some will adapt to Canada quickly, but the reality is that others will take longer. This is the reason why the government created an environment where refugees are provided with ongoing support and access to settlement programs which are critical for the long-term success of the refugee program. While immigration can be a daunting a time-consuming process, the use of a Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) means the application is handled expertly and professionally with the highest possibility of success.
As a country, Canada’s willingness to step up and demonstrate kindness and compassion in the face of grave human tragedy is rightfully a point of pride for all Canadians and this is considered the “Canadian way.” The Canadian government is seeking to help dozens of other immigrants who have made it through that U.S – Canada border crossing, largely a wide-open field over the last few months.
The American dream is alive in Canada, read more here.
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