Couillard warns would-be asylum seekers: “There is no guarantee”

Couillard warns would-be asylum seekers: “There is no guarantee”
From Global News - August 12, 2017

As the unprecedented flow of asylum seekers crossing the U.S. border into Quebec continues, Premier Philippe Couillard took to social media Friday to reassure the public.

In the week from August 1 to 7, more than 1, 700 people illegally crossed the American border into Canada at Lacolle.

In a statement posted to his Facebook page, Couillard attempted to outline his governments approach to dealing with the current influx, saying Quebec had a duty to treat the new arrivals with dignity and compassion.

READ MORE:Border services overwhelmed as Haitians continue to seek asylum in Quebec

He also clarified that the newcomers are not migrants, or illegal immigrants, but refugee claimants, and as such are entitled to due process.

They are governed by very well-defined laws and procedures, under the responsibility of the federal authorities, Couillard said, adding the provincial government is collaborating with Ottawa for the provision of certain services.

Earlier in the week,Coalition Avenir Quebec Leader Franois Legault also taking to Facebook criticized Couillards government for its open-arm approach, and irresponsible political discourse.

He is sending the wrong message to illegal migrants, as if Quebec could welcome all the misery in the world, Legault said.

READ MORE:Canadian Army sets up tents at Lacolle border to welcome asylum seekers

Couillard countered that there are no guarantees the applicants will be granted refugee status, but acknowledged the situation at hand was complex.

It is unfortunate that these very vulnerable people were convinced that admission as a refugee in Canada and at home in Quebec would be simple, even automatic. It is not so, Couillards statement reads.


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