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Canadian Army Builds Tents for Asylum Seekers Fleeing US
13 August 2017, 11:33 | Andy Ferguson
Canada builds camp for US refugees
While the military is setting up the tents at the Canada-US border at Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, soldiers will have no role in policing, officials said, noting those duties are handled by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
The military-built camp would house hundreds of asylum seekers in heated tents fitted with flooring and electricity while they wait for their refugee applications to be processed, said a statement from the military.
The temporary facility is being built in anticipation of a large influx of asylum seekers from the USA, said Stephane Malepart, a spokesperson for the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).
"We have a processing capacity of approximately 200 to 230 cases per day, said the regional director general of the border services Agency of Canada, Patrick Lefort, during a press briefing".
The Canadian Red Cross is now in charge of the operations at the temporary camp for asylum seekers.
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A growing number of migrants have also been taken in at different temporary shelters in Montreal, including at the Olympic Stadium.
More than 3,300 people crossed into Quebec between 1 January and 30 June.
The Royal Victoria Hospital, which shut in 2015 due to age, will also be opened and can accommodate about 320 people.
Numerous new arrivals are Haitian nationals who fear they could be deported if the USA lifts a program that granted them so-called "temporary protected status" following the quake that struck Haiti in 2010.
To qualify for political asylum in Canada, refugee claimants must prove they are "not able to return because of a well-founded fear of persecution" or that they face "risk to their life, or risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment", according to Immigration and Citizenship Canada.
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