Anti-Migrant Verbiage Growing In Canada

For numerous migrants from countries such as Venezuela, Nigeria, Haiti and others, Roxham Road represents the last hurdle before entering Canada and the prospect of a new life.

In 2022, nearly 40,000 people arrived in Canada by this route, doubly as many as in 2017. Last January, further than 5,000 migrants arrived then with little additional but their sparse possessions.

“I’ve always seen Canada on TV and I’ve always envisioned of going there. I’ve seen a beautiful country and I would like to discover it. Because in my country, I suffered a lot and I would like to have a better life”, said Marcello, a migrant from Haiti.

After being checked and registered by police officers, the migrants are taken to the nearest authorized border post to file a shelter claim. Amongst the migrants are numerous families with children.

“Kids are a lot more resilient. They’re just I do not think they realize what is going on. So it’s not a big deal. They’re playing, they are talking about the snow, they are doing whatever. It’s the parents who are reacting further and occasionally we see very strong emotional reactions from people as they get ready to cross”, said Frances Ravensbergen, spokesperson for the NGO, Bridges not Borders.

But anti-migrant verbiage is growing in Canada and there’s increasing pressure to close this point of access.

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“We previously have casualties. Closing Roxham Road is clearly going to mean further people trying to get across in a country where winter is a very dangerous time of year. We’re talking about pregnant women, we’re talking about families with children, so closing Roxham Road, for us, is putting all these people in danger”, argues Maryse Poisson, spokesman of the NGO, Welcome Collaborative.

The inflow of asylum seekers, particularly via Roxham Road, is hoped to be a topic of discussion between President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in two weeks time when the American President visits Ottawa.

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