Refugees living in the United States are self-deporting to Canada in growing numbers, according to advocacy organizations in the region.
“We haven’t had something before like this,” the president of a group that helps refugees in Canada told Reuters, referring to an influx of asylum seekers coming from the U.S. “We don’t know what to do.”
One refugee agency in Manitoba helped more asylum seekers between the presidential election and Jan. 25 than it normally helps in a year. Most of those 91 seekers walked through “freezing prairie winter” to make it across the northern border.
According to people working for the agencies, the refugees are fleeing a “worsening climate of xenophobia” in the U.S. after Trump’s stunning win. Their agencies are “bracing” for an even greater influx of refugees as the fallout of Trump’s executive order freezing the refugee program continues.
“They will make a dash for Canada, whether they’re going to go through cold weather to die or not,” a Somali immigrant living in Manitoba who helps refugees told Reuters.