An influx of Haitian asylum seekers crossing the U.S. border into the small Canadian city of Cornwall in eastern Ontario has municipal politicians frustrated at the lack of clear details from the federal government on the issue, The Globe and Mail reported Tuesday.
"There are mixed feelings in our community on what we think they should be doing and shouldn't be doing," said Cornwall Mayor Leslie O'Shaughnessy at a special meeting Monday evening concerning the arrival of hundreds of Haitian refugees.
Local residents crowded into the tiny Cornwall city council meeting to voice their concern about the influx of the asylum seekers and the Canadian army is building a tent city on the lawn of a privately run conference center in the town to accommodate the newcomers, The Daily Caller reported.
Some in the crowd, however, supported the arrival of the asylum seekers, saying they hoped they would stay in the city to boost the number of French-language speakers, according to the Globe and Mail.
The upsurge in newcomers was apparently spurred by the Trump administration's indication it might end "temporary protected status" for Haitians in the U.S. following their country's massive 2010 earthquake.
Last week, Canada's Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced a temporary shelter would be set up in Cornwall.
A spokesman for Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said security screenings had been conducted on the arrivals and "they are admissible to Canada; they are not being detained."
He explained the erection of the tents is meant to be temporary housing while the Haitians wait for interviews with immigration officials to determine their eligibility for a hearing at the Immigration and Refugee Board.
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