Photo: Graham Hughes The canadian Press
Ottawa — An imminent decision by the administration to Trump on the fate of some 200,000 Salvadorans could upset the plans of the canadian government which is prepared to a possible new wave of migration to its southern border this winter.
The u.s. government is on the point of deciding whether to renew or not a status of temporary protection dating back to 2001, which has enabled Salvadorans to remain in the United States without fear of deportation.
Their status expires in march, and while the United States has put an end to the programme of temporary protection for citizens of many countries in the last few months, it is possible that the Salvadorans are coming.
The administration of president Donald Trump judge that the temporary aspect of the program has not been complied with and that the conditions of these countries are dangerous places — the natural disasters or conflicts, have changed.
But these decisions could result in the deportation of thousands of individuals to countries they do not live for many years.
When asked about what he would do in the event of the abolition of the status of temporary protection, the Salvadoran Carlos Reyes, who lives in Long Island, New York, has referred to Canada as an option during an interview with the local newspaper Newsday.
“One thing I know is that I’m going to lose my job, and if I don’t have employment that is-what can I do ? I don’t want to go down there [in el Salvador], but I will not be able to stay here, ” he confided. “There is Canada, but I know nothing of Canada. My life, everything is here. “
Salvadorans represent the largest population covered by the programme of temporary status and the possibility that they will return to Canada had been reported by canadian diplomats based in the United States, after the migration wave of the last year.
In the context where the temporary protected status of Haitians was re-evaluated by the administration to Trump, several of them have crossed the border illegally to seek asylum in Canada.
Haitians had started to flock to the country well before the final decision is made, and this mass arrival — up to 200 people crossed the border per day last summer — has forced the liberal government to develop a plan.
Temporary shelters have been established at the border between Quebec and New York State and dozens of police officers from the royal Canadian mounted police (RCMP) and immigration officers have been deployed in the region to handle the situation.
A contingency plan ready
At the same time, the federal government is prepared to face the possibility of another wave of migration.
Caravans are equipped for the winter have been purchased and are now used at the border of Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Quebec. And a contingency plan — the details of which are not made public — is ready.
A spokesman for the public Safety minister, Ralph Goodale, has suggested that it is not yet implemented.
“The volume of people who have crossed the border irregularly Lacolle recently is comparable to the levels we have seen this fall,” wrote Scott Bardsley in an e-mail.
A little more than 1,500 people have crossed the border irregularly in November, while they were 5530 in August. But the figures for the month of November last, are in spite of everything well-behaved : in January 2017, only 315 people were in Canada irregularly.
Haitians make up the vast majority of asylum-seekers. Salvadorans are ranked not even in the top ten list of countries of origin the most common among migrants who have arrived in Canada, according to figures from the immigration and refugee board of Canada (IRB).
However, the number of asylum applications from Salvadorans has increased. According to the data of the IRB, 244 applications of refugees have been met by Salvadorans throughout the year 2016. Between January and September 2017, there were 564.
Campaign of deterrence of Canada
In addition to preparations at the border, the canadian government has also launched a campaign in the United States to discourage people to come to the country.
Some asylum seekers have decided to go to the North, because they were influenced by rumours that Canada has immigration programs for the special people covered by the programs for temporary status in the United States.
Mps speaking Spanish and creole, as well as the minister for Immigration, went to Florida, Texas, California and Minnesota to address these communities. The consulates of dozens of cities in the United States have also multiplied the approaches to explain the canadian immigration system, particularly in the local media.
The challenges remain. In November, the consul general of Nicaragua in Miami told local media that Canada was not an option for the citizens of this country who have lost their status of temporary protection.
During this time, asylum seekers, potential dig on the Internet to find the best way to get to Canada by improper means. They are forced to use these paths illegal, because an agreement that prevents people from the United States to make a refugee claim in Canada if they go through the legal border crossings.
The canadian government is now trying to target those people, said Hursh Jawal, a spokesman for the Immigration minister, Ahmed Hussen.
“We are building a digital campaign targeted exclusively using the marketing on the search engines, to specifically target the communities affected by the [temporary protected status] “, he explained via e-mail.
“Canadians can be sure of the fact that governments at all levels continue to work together to protect our communities and maintain the integrity of our immigration system, while respecting our international obligations to protect vulnerable people fleeing war, terrorism and persecution. “