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New York is paying for bus tickets for migrants traveling to the Canadian border to seek asylum there

2023-02-09T03:56:46.740Z


Many migrants are going by bus to the rural town of Roxham Road, a frequent crossing point to the Canadian city of Quebec. They are looking for work and a more agile immigration system. The mayor assures that he is not forcing them to leave, but facilitating "their dreams".


New York is paying bus tickets for migrants who seek to move to the Canadian border to seek asylum in the neighboring country, in search of better job opportunities, health benefits and a more agile immigration system than the American one.

The city's mayor, Democrat Eric Adams, has assured Fox 5 that New York is not forcibly transferring migrants, as has happened with the hundreds of buses chartered from Texas to Democratic states in recent months.

“Some want to go to Canada, some want to go to warmer states, and we are there to help them as they continue to pursue

their dream

,” the mayor said.

The Canadian authorities have expressed "surprise" to learn that New York is facilitating travel to the common border.

Quebec Immigration Minister Christine Fréchette told reporters in Montreal that it is necessary to

"resolve the Roxham Road problem,"

referring to a rural New York area in the far north that is a frequent crossing point for asylum seekers into Canada.

New York has welcomed more than 40,000 asylum seekers since last spring. Seth Wenig / AP

While the neighboring country has facilitated migration routes to hire foreign workers and address labor shortages, it has also made clear in the past that it is focused on curbing irregular border crossings.

New York has welcomed more than 40,000 asylum seekers since last spring and has criticized buses of migrants sent by Texas to states like New York, Massachusetts and California.

[New York declares a state of emergency due to the massive arrival of migrants from Texas]

The migrants are mostly heading to the city of Plattsburgh (New York) about 30 minutes from the Canadian border.

There they move to Roxham Road and cross to ask for asylum on the Canadian side.

In 2022, more than 39,000 people used that route to enter Canada,

some 4,700 arriving in December, according to the Canadian network CBC News.

According to reports, when migrants arrive at the New York Port Authority bus terminal, they are given free tickets to the cities of their choice. 

“We are not telling people to go to a state or a country.

We talk to people and they tell us that they want to go somewhere else," Mayor Adams said Tuesday, in statements quoted by The New York Times.

In mid-January, Adams said that "New York can't take it anymore," referring to the high number of asylum seekers sent from Texas, which led the city to declare a state of emergency last October.

Canada: more job opportunities and a more agile immigration system

For many Latino immigrants, New York was not their ideal destination, they have no acquaintances or contacts in the city and they have not been able to find a job, Izle Thielmann, director of Team TLC NYC, a nonprofit organization that receives immigrants, told CBC News. migrants at the bus station, provides them with food, cleaning, and helps them with phone calls and transportation.

The immigrant crisis in New York generates protests because some refuse to relocate

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Thielmann said he has noticed a recent increase in the number of people asking the city for tickets to travel to Plattsburgh.

"(New York) City is not forcing people to go to Canada, or even encouraging them to go," he said.

“But when people come and ask to go to Plattsburgh they are not asked questions and they are given a ticket to ride,” she added.

Thielmann explained that some migrants came to the United States with "false hopes, or an inflated idea of ​​the opportunities they would have here and

I think that is playing a role in the concept of going to Canada

."

[A second migrant commits suicide in a New York shelter in the midst of a border crisis]

He also said that rumors may have spread among the migrant community that "a couple of people successfully crossed the (northern) border and were able to get jobs and let others know."

Canada is attractive to asylum seekers because of the speed with which they receive some benefits such as health coverage, social assistance and work permits, compared to the US system, explained The New York Times.

A spokeswoman for the New York mayor told CBC News the city

is not buying tickets for Roxham Road and is not helping migrants cross the northern border either

.

“Our goal is to help asylum seekers who want to relocate to another location,” said Kate Smart, a spokeswoman for Adams.

The mayor of New York visits the southern border and warns of the impact of the immigration crisis

Jan 16, 202300:57

“We don't treat Plattsburgh any differently than we do any other city,”

he said, but did not respond to a question about whether they knew migrants head to Canada to seek asylum from there.

The journey can take about seven hours and the ticket costs 75 dollars, detailed The New York Times.

According to CBC News, citing police sources, more than 200 migrants are arriving on Roxham Road every day. They arrive first in Plattsburgh and from there taxi drivers take them to the border for between $50 and $150.

Why do migrants specifically cross over Roxham Road?

The United States and Canada signed the so-called Safe Third Country Agreement in 2002, which entered into force in 2004 and details that "asylum seekers

must request protection as refugees in the first safe country they arrive

, unless they can qualify for a exception to the Agreement.

Roxham Road is one of those exceptions, according to the Canadian outlet The Montreal Gazette.

Under the Agreement, Canadian authorities turn away

asylum seekers who want to enter through official checkpoints

with the United States, but Roxham Road is not one of them.

The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, assured that his government is "very concerned" about the massive arrival of migrants and that it is working with the United States to modernize the Safe Third Country Agreement to "reduce these irregular crossings and promote legal immigration ”.

Migrants cross the Canadian border through Roxham Road, in a file photo from July 2018. The Washington Post / The Washington Post via Getty Im

Some 60,000 asylum seekers entered Quebec in 2022 and some 34,478 were intercepted by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police at border points in that province, according to The Montreal Gazette.

The Prime Minister of Quebec, François Legault, assured that this increase in irregular migration represents a challenge to fully meet the educational and housing needs of asylum seekers.

The Canadian government will invest 3.5 million dollars in emergency funds to deal with the arrival of migrants, Immigration Minister Christine Fréchette reported.

"Migrants don't deserve this"

In mid-January, during a visit to El Paso (Texas), Mayor Adams criticized the transfer of migrants to Democratic cities like New York, assuring that there was "no clear coordination" and appealing to national leaders "to address this problem in a real way."

“Our cities are being undermined.

And we don't deserve this.

Migrants do not deserve this.

And neither do people who live in cities," Adams said.

Since last spring, New York City has received some 40,000 asylum seekers.

In early January, nearly 840 people arrived in a single day, according to the mayor.

At least two Latino migrants have committed suicide after being placed in temporary shelters in the city, where their relatives denounced overcrowding and precarious conditions.

Source: telemundo

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