Illegal Crossings from Minnesota to Manitoba Continue to Rise

With reporting from Jill Macyshon, CTV News
April 20, 2017 10:36 PM

The number in illegal crossings at the international border between Minnesota and Manitoba is continuing to surge, causing frustration for people who live along the border.

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The Canadian government says Royal Canadian Mounted Police intercepted 887 people at the border in March, up from 658 in February. While the bulk of those cases were in Quebec, 170 were in Manitoba.

Refugees have been walking across the border to circumvent a Canadian policy that prohibits them from seeking asylum at official U.S. border crossing points, since the U.S. is already considered a safe country for refugees. Tiny towns along the Manitoba border are on the route many refugees are taking to get from Minneapolis to Winnipeg.

Some of the attempted crossings have become violent. In Emerson, Manitoba, a border guard required medical attention after being assaulted by an asylum seeker, who was arrested and charged. That was one of several cases of asylum seekers posing a threat to public safety in the province in the past four weeks.

There is growing frustration with the Canadian federal government among locals who feel they should know what is happening in their own backyards.

"With not getting any of these numbers and we know there are some criminals coming in, through the mix of all these people that are jumping across the border. The local residents are getting a lot more concerned," Greg Janzen, the elected leader of the Municipality of Emerson-Franklin, told CTV News.

Residents are asking for more resources. Beverly Robb, who lives near the border in Piney, has seen evidence of people crossing the border in a cattle pasture.

"They need to get more manpower out here. Our RCMP are so stretched they can't do anymore. They are doing everything they can," Robb said.


With reporting from Jill Macyshon, CTV News

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