Canadian officials rescued 17 migrants on Wednesday after the group was caught in a storm while fleeing the United States and crossing the U.S. – Canada border, according to the Washington Post.
Local fire chief Jeff French said that since temperatures were in the single digits and winds were reaching 50 mph, his crew sent a bus out to rescue the asylum seekers. Among them was a pregnant woman and a 1-year-old baby.
Emerson, Canada, is quickly becoming saturated with illegal immigrants, many from Africa and the Middle East, who are fleeing the U.S. in an attempt to avoid deportation following Trump’s executive order.
“Even an hour in this wind and this weather is a long time,” French told reporters. “We got them out of the elements right away and into a warm place.”
Officials also said one person was sent to the hospital to have a broken arm treated.
“Of all things, it was probably one of the windiest blizzards we’ve had all winter and they come across where it’s literally zero visibility,” Greg Janzen, the town manager, told the Canadian Press. “I think they walked almost right through Emerson without knowing they were here.”
According to Reuters, on Saturday, Canada’s Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said the country will not turn away asylum seekers or increase border security. He said that the country will have to use its own resources to handle the influx.
However, Canadian police officers are currently discouraging migrants from making the dangerous journey.
“The RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) strongly discourages those attempting to cross the border from making the trek,” Sgt. Cory Meyers, Manitoba’s head of border enforcement, said in a statement. “The risks are too high in this harsh weather.”
According to the Washington Post, the border in that area is not heavily monitored, which has resulted in nearly 200 migrants pouring into the small town of only 700 people.
H/T: Washington Post
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