Turks caught up in growing stream of illegal border crossings to Canada

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A family from Turkey are helped by a member of the RCMP at the US/Canada border February 26, 2017, in Champlain, NY. The family was arrested by the RCMP after crossing. AFP PHOTO / Don EMMERT

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.

HEMMINGFORD, QUEBEC - FEBRUARY 23: A mother and child from Turkey wait to be put into a police vehicle by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police after they crossed the U.S.-Canada border into Canada, February 23, 2017 in Hemmingford, Quebec. In the past month, hundreds of people have crossed Quebec land border crossings in attempts to seek asylum and claim refugee status in Canada. Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP
HEMMINGFORD, QUEBEC – FEBRUARY 23: A mother and child from Turkey wait to be put into a police vehicle by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police after they crossed the U.S.-Canada border into Canada, February 23, 2017 in Hemmingford, Quebec. In the past month, hundreds of people have crossed Quebec land border crossings in attempts to seek asylum and claim refugee status in Canada. Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP
A member of the RCMP carries luggage belonging to a couple who claimed to be from Turkey after they crossed the US/Canada border and were arrested February 27, 2017, in Champlain, New York. There continues to be an increasing number of people crossing the US border into Canada illegally. / AFP PHOTO / Don EMMERT
A member of the RCMP carries luggage belonging to a couple who claimed to be from Turkey after they crossed the US/Canada border and were arrested February 27, 2017.
There continues to be an increasing number of people crossing the US border into Canada illegally. / AFP PHOTO / Don EMMERT
A man who claimed to be from Turkey is questioned by the RCMP after crossing the US/Canada border February 27, 2017, in Champlain, New York. There continues to be an increasing number of people crossing the US border into Canada illegally. / AFP PHOTO / Don EMMERT
A man who claimed to be from Turkey is questioned by the RCMP after crossing the US/Canada border February 27, 2017.
There continues to be an increasing number of people crossing the US border into Canada illegally. / AFP PHOTO / Don EMMERT

1 COMMENT

  1. “while images of other would-be border crossers arrested by US police have also made an appearance, such as the couple who claim to be Turkish in the photographs below” indicates that the couple in the photo below were arrested by AMERICAN police. But in fact this is not the case, as the data on the photo itself states: the couple were picked up by the RCMP (the Royal CANADIAN Mounted Police). That is our federal police. And they weren’t arrested exactly; they’ve been ‘detained.’ They’ll be looked after alright; I wish them all the best and a great welcome to Canada!

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