Turks fleeing a multipronged crackdown at home on dissent and objection to the government, a free and unbiased press, Kurdish politicians, alleged plotters of a failed coup in July and suspected sympathizers of the faith-based Gülen movement have been found to be seeking asylum in Canada by transiting the US and crossing the border between the two countries illegally.
Turkish citizens are part of a growing number of people entering Canada at remote, unguarded locations along the US border, many of them hoping to escape US President Donald Trump’s crackdown on undocumented immigrants.
Despite political pressure to stem the stream of asylum seekers who have faced brutal winter conditions in their search for a safe haven, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said that the government would not seek to halt irregular migration along the US border. “One of the reasons why Canada remains an open country is Canadians trust our immigration system and the integrity of our borders and the help we provide people who are looking for safety,” Trudeau told parliament. “We will continue to strike that balance between a rigorous system and accepting people who need help,” reported The Guardian on Sunday.
Photos of smiling Canadian police greeting migrants have been posted on social media, while images of other border crossers arrested by Canadian police have also made an appearance, such as the couple who claim to be Turkish in the photographs below.