Asylum seekers are less numerous at the border

News 25 August, 2017
  • Photo Martin Alarie
    There are approximately 550 asylum seekers in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle against 1200 migrants last week.

    Benoît Philie

    Thursday, 24 August, 2017 13:22

    Friday, 25 August, 2017 00:06

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    The number of asylum seekers crossing irregularly the border has decreased by half since a week.

    “There is talk of 120 to 125 applicants per day, at the present time, indicates the president of the union of customs, Jean-Pierre Fortin. But it is not nothing. It makes close to 900 people per week. “

    Up to 500 migrants have crossed the border on certain days, at the beginning of the month of August. The number is increased from 200 to 350 last week, at 150 and 140 in the beginning of the week.

    Unstable climate

    The american president Donald Trump threat for several months to withdraw back to the Haitian their temporary protected status granted by Obama after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

    “The climate on the american side is still very unstable. We could see the number of asylum seekers increased again over the next few weeks “, said Mr. Fortin, who considers that the actual customs are not always enough.

    More than 8000 migrants have arrived in the province since the beginning of the month of June.

    Quebec announced Thursday that it will begin distributing cheques social assistance to asylum seekers, from 30 August to 1 September, at the Palais des congrès de Montréal.

    The minister of social Solidarity, François Blais, estimated at $ 2.5 Million for the monthly sum which will be paid to the 4,000 migrants who are entitled to assistance up to now. The amount is the same as for any other beneficiary in Québec, or 628 $ per month for a single person and 1189 $ for a family of two adults and two children.

    Photo Martin Alarie

    François Blais

    minister, social Solidarity


    “A claimant is not automatically entitled to social assistance. One must evaluate his financial situation, made a test of income and it is possible that he gives up partially or completely to the right to social assistance “, said Mr. Blais.

    These migrants have no other choice than to resort to social assistance since it is forbidden to work. In normal times, the lead times are six weeks to obtain a work permit after having begun the process of seeking asylum.

    Currently, the wait could be six months.

    The prime minister Justin Trudeau does not dismiss the idea of granting temporary work permits to migrants waiting for the acceptance of their application for asylum.

    The opposition to Québec supports the government, but is critical to long delays.

    “We will not let them starve. They are with us, so we are going to give them what they need to survive, ” says the member of parliament for the Parti québécois, Agnès Maltais.

    “We have no other choice than to take care of these people. However, where one has a choice, it is to process their cases more quickly, ” says the leader of the CAQ, François Legault.

    The royal Canadian mounted police has not responded to questions from the Journal and the border services Agency of Canada has not made our appeal.

    — With the collaboration of Sophie Côté and Pascal Dugas-Bourdon, Le Journal de Québec and the Agence QMI