According to a report from the Candian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC News), the city of Montreal has opened their Olympic Stadium to serve as a temporary refugee welcoming center. The second-largest city in #Canada has done so in order to house a wave of #Asylum Seekers coming into the country from the United States of America.

Why are these asylum seekers coming to Canada?

The CBC reported that just in July over 1,100 asylum seekers illegally crossed into the Canadian province of Quebec, where Montreal is located. Quebec shares a border with New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. With the opening of the Olympic Stadium between 100 and 450 cots have been set up inside to house those coming over the border.

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A spokeswoman for the Regional Program for the Settlement and Integration of Asylum Seekers (PRAIDA), Francine Dupuis said: “We've never seen this before.” CBC News reports that a lot of those crossing the border into Canada from America are #Haitians. This influx of people has swamped PRAIDA and strained their resources. This has led to the opening of the stadium, as well as several other new centers. Usually, the organization works with the Montreal YMCA to help asylum seekers find housing.

Why are some many Haitians going to Canada?

The reasons that so many Haitians are illegally crossing over into Canada from the United States is because of a threat made by the Trump Administration. This threat was to end the protected status of Haitians granted during the Obama Administration who came to America seeking refuge in the aftermath of the devasting 2010 earthquake that hit Haiti.

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In May, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) extended the benefit to Haitians by six months. However, DHS also warned the protected status of these Haitians would end soon. They added that those enrolled in the Temporary Protected Status program should get their affairs in order soon. Once the six months extension ends, up to 58,000 Haitians could be deported. Since this announcement, Canada has seen a large influx of Haitian migrants into the country.

Staying in Canada

Montreal has a large Haitian community, as the French speaking region of Canada and Haiti share the same language, which is why so many are coming to the city. The Maison d'Haiti, a community hub for the city's Haitian population, has already started helping asylum seekers fill out paperwork to stay in the country.

The city's mayor also welcomed the asylum seekers in a tweet. However, it is still unclear if all of them will be able to stay in Canada. If their applications for refugee status are denied they could be deported to Haiti since Canadian authorities deem it a safe country.