How More and More Refugees Are Fleeing to CanadaPosted: Updated:
It started as a trickle. Some of them Haitians, many of them Muslims. And with most of them in fear of losing their legal status in the U.S. under the Trump Administration, lately that trickle has turned into a torrent.
"I will say the traffic has increased significantly," said Norman Lague, with U.S. Border Patrol.
A road and a dirt path in the Clinton County town of Champlain has turned into a highway of refugees fleeing to Canada. It's the most direct path from New York City to Montreal. They come by bus and taxi. At the border they may be met by Canadian police, who will call out a warning....
"Ma'am, if you do cross the line, we'll arrest you, like all of the people here."
Champlain resident, Melissa Beshaw said, "They're willing to risk being arrested. They're risking going across and not knowing where they're headed."
But getting arrested is the goal, the first step in seeking asylum in Canada. Canadian police have set up facilities at the border to process them. Then the refugees are taken to Montreal, where the city's Olympic Stadium has been set up to receive them. But still, their future is far from settled.
Francine Dupuis is helping asylum seekers:
"It's not going to be an open door, Dupuis said. "And it's sad because we do think that many of them believe that they are here to stay, which is not necessarily true."
The number of refugees fleeing to Quebec has climbed every month this year. A dramatic spike just this month takes it to about 500 a day.