Residents along the U.S.-Canada border are organizing ways to help asylum-seekers cross into Canada, the Canadian Press reports.
In Plattsburgh, N.Y., a group called Plattsburgh Cares, made up of churches, social organizations and citizens, is figuring out how to provide food, shelter, transportation or legal advice to people aiming to get into Canada.
"At first we were concerned about (winter) clothes, but then we’re also concerned now about the larger picture of if they’re sent back from Canada, are they going to be able to go somewhere?" Janet McFetridge, a resident of Champlain, N.Y., told the Canadian Press about an increase in taxis headed to Roxham Road, a popular illegal crossing spot.
"The greater Plattsburgh area is looking for some system where people will be able to house them and get them on their way safely."
A group of citizens in Hemmingford, Quebec, recently held an event to see how they could support the asylum seekers, which included writing letters to Canada’s prime minister and immigration minister asking them to allow refugees to present themselves at the border instead of crossing illegally, something they are not able to do under the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement.
In the U.S., Immigration and Customs Enforcement have ramped up efforts to arrest criminal illegal immigrants under the Trump administration and the number of illegal immigrants trying to sneak into the United States across the Mexican border plummeted in March to the lowest monthly figure in more than 17 years.
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