Quebec preparing financial aid for asylum seekers

Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen says additional members of his department are being deployed in Montreal to allow initial claims for asylum to be assessed faster

That's news to the Canadian Council for Refugees, whose head says the 1951 rules clearly forbid countries from deporting people once they've filed an asylum claim.

Canada fears a huge surge in asylum seekers crossing the border from the United States, putting political pressure on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ahead of a 2019 election, sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

If they go the legal way, she said, they'll be turned away because of the agreement between Canada and the US that precludes people from making asylum claims at official land border crossings.

Opposition politicians in Quebec have criticized the federal government's handling of the border crossers, some calling for Trudeau to suspend worldwide agreements forcing Canada to accept people entering through illegal border points.

A group of asylum seekers wait to be processed after being escorted from their tent encampment to the Canada Border Services in Lacolle, Quebec, Canada, August 11, 2017.

But he insisted the would-be refugees were gaining no advantage by walking over the border through irregular routes, and they would be subject to the same screening as other claimants.

She said the opposition has been raising the issue for months, since the arrivals at the border numbered only in the dozens, but the government's response continues to fall short. The arrival of thousands more people than normal in provinces such as Manitoba and Quebec has prompted an increase in security and immigration officials at those entry points.

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"A photo op after a meeting will not cut it", she said. Haitians, who face looming deportation from the United States when their temporary protected status expires in January 2018, accounted for much of the inflow.

Canada is on track to record the most refugee claims in a decade.

Leger Marketing pollster Christian Bourque said there were no immediate signs that support in Quebec for Trudeau was weakening. Dench says expanding the 2004 agreement wouldn't change anything for people who have already set foot inside of Canada.

With a massive backlog in refugee claims, Rempel called Trudeau "irresponsible" for opening Canada's door, then responding to the spike by building "tent cities" instead of presenting a credible plan.

That means someone from Ghana who claims asylum in Canada must have a hearing to consider whether they can be safely sent back to Ghana.

"Canada is an open and welcoming society because Canadians have confidence in our immigration system and have confidence that we are a country based on laws", Trudeau told a press conference.

"The United Nations has made a determination that even with the shift in immigration policies of the United States, they still fully qualify for holding up their end of the bargain on the Safe Third Country", he said.

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