Closing Roxham Road border crossing will not stop arrival of asylum seekers: Trudeau

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OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says closing an unofficial border crossing in southern Quebec will not stop the arrival of asylum seekers.

Trudeau said today that if the crossing point at Roxham Road, south of Montreal, were closed, irregular migrants would cross Canada's long border elsewhere.

Quebec Premier François Legault called on Trudeau Wednesday to shut down the crossing, saying Quebec doesn't have the capacity to care for migrants as they wait for their refugee claims to be processed.

Trudeau says that negotiations are progressing with the United States to change the Safe Third Country Agreement, which has led to the irregular crossings.

Under that agreement, asylum seekers who enter the U.S. must claim refugee status in that country and can be turned back if they attempt to enter Canada through an official border crossing to make a refugee claim.

The RCMP has intercepted 7,013 asylum seekers who have crossed irregularly into Quebec from the U.S. since the beginning of the year.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 12, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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