Friday, May 22, 2020

Virus Rules Tighten Illegal Immigration on Northern Border

Toby Talbot, File/Associated Press
Five Mexican citizens apprehended this week after illegally entering the United States in remote northern Maine were returned to Canada within hours under a rule put into place as part of the U.S. government response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A similar policy by the Canadian government allows the return to the United States of most people seeking asylum in Canada.
While the restrictions haven’t ended illegal immigration into the United States from Canada, the emergency policy has all but ended the use of Roxham Road in Champlain, New York — one of the most well-known routes used by people fleeing the U.S. to seek asylum in Canada.
For more than three years, Janet McFetridge, a humanitarian activist from Champlain, helped the northbound asylum seekers.
“’It makes me wonder where they are and whether they are safe,” she said of their absence.
Prior to COVID-19, depending on the circumstances of the individual border crosser, the five people apprehended in Maine on May 12 could have been charged with a federal crime in the United States or quickly processed for deportation to their home country.
President Donald Trump closed the borders with Mexico and Canada to all-but-essential traffic in March. For those entering illegally or seeking asylum, the administration has suspended immigration laws on public health grounds, giving border officials authority to rapidly expel them.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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