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  • The resource is being offered in multiple languages.

    The resource is being offered in multiple languages. | Photo: Reuters

Published 6 April 2017

The group hopes the guide will alleviate the difficulties in accessing Canada’s bureaucratic immigration system, which they say is also colonial.

A new multilingual guide for asylum-seekers coming to Canada from the United States was released Thursday by the anti-colonial, anti-capitalist migrant justice group, No One Is Illegal.

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The guide hopes to help the thousands that have been “fleeing escalated socio-political, white supremacist, misogynist violence and ICE raids in the U.S.,” the group wrote in its announcement of the resource’s release.

“In the first two months of this year, approximately 2,000 refugee claims were filed at land ports of entry along the Canadian border,” the statement read. “In Quebec alone there, are six times more land-border refugee claims than in the same period last year. RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) have intercepted or arrested (not yet charged) 1,134 refugees — nearly half as many asylum-seekers in three months as all of the previous year.”

With many asylum-seekers — hailing primarily from Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Djibouti, Ghana, Nigeria and Mexico — having contacted the organization, the group hopes the guide will alleviate the difficulties in accessing Canada’s bureaucratic immigration system.

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“This guide is to better inform and support those making the difficult decision to cross yet another colonial border,” the statement continued.

The guide was produced in collaboration with the Immigration Legal Committee of the Law Union of Ontario and is supported by the African-Canadian Legal Clinic.

In January, No One Is Illegal’s Toronto chapter released a petition calling on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to rescind the Safe Third Country Agreement, which effectively bans anyone entering Canada via the United States from claiming refugee status at the border.

Advocates on both sides of the border are still pressing Trudeau to rescind that agreement, which the government has continued to refuse to do.

“We are calling on Prime Minister Trudeau and (Immigration) Minister Hussen to immediately rescind the Safe Third Country Agreement, and that immediate steps be taken to allow special consideration of humanitarian and compassionate reasons for entry to Canada as enabled by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act,” stated the petition.

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“Remaining in Trump’s America is unsafe — particularly for poor and racialized people. For many people, deportation may also be a death sentence," the petition added. "The Safe Third Country Agreement is the reason refugees put their lives at risk trying to cross the U.S.-Canada border secretly rather than going through official channels."

But while Canada is seen as a safe haven brimming with good-natured, compassionate citizens, a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released in March found that nearly half of Canadians want to deport people who are crossing into Canada from the United States without documentation.

In addition, according to another report released by Reuters that same month, Canada has detained more migrants from Mexico in the first three months of 2017 than they have annually in each of the past three years.

And in December, Trudeau’s government imposed a cap on the number of private applications to sponsor Syrian and Iraqi refugees in 2017, setting the limit at just 1,000.

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