Connect with us

News

There’s No Free Ticket” – Canada Warns Nigerian Asylum Seekers Crossing From USA

Published

on

The Canadian government said it’s working with U.S. visa officials in Nigeria to mitigate the surge of migrants coming to the United States seeking a safe haven in neighboring Canada.

There’s a growing number of Nigerian asylum seekers who legally travel to the United States on a visa and stay for a brief time before attempting to cross the border into Canada, according to the Canadian government. In response, three Canadian officials have been stationed to work with U.S. visa officials in the Nigerian city of Lagos to “combat abuse of U.S. travel documents,” the government announced in a press release Monday.

“Coming across the border in a way that seeks to circumvent our procedures is no free ticket to Canada,” Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Ralph Goodale said in a statement. “We will continue to ensure an orderly managed border, including the compassionate treatment of those who genuinely need Canada’s protection. And we will continue to work with the United States to deter the misuse of travel documents that has helped drive the influx.”

Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Ahmed Hussen will also travel to the West African nation this month to meet with Nigerian officials about the issue.

“Our government’s priority first and foremost is to ensure that all laws are followed to protect the safety and security of Canadians,” Hussen said in a statement.

The U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Nigeria did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment Wednesday.

More than 25,000 asylum seekers were apprehended by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, mostly in Quebec, as they crossed “irregularly” into Canada from the United States between the ports of entry from January 2017 through March of this year. The influx of irregular border-crossers appears to be on the rise, and there’s concern the number will soar as the weather warms up.

The number of asylum seekers apprehended by the national police force in the first three months of this year was more than double the amount in the same period last year. And last year, the number intercepted at the border more than tripled in July and August, according to figures from the Canadian government.

Many of the asylum seekers crossing into Canada last year were Haitians who feared they would lose their temporary protected status (TPS) in the United States, after President Donald Trump’s administration announced it will end the program for Haitian immigrants by July 2019.

So far this year, most of the asylum seekers crossing into Canada by land have been Nigerian citizens, the Canada Border Services Agency confirmed to ABC News.

“Nigerians do not want to settle in the U.S. but in Canada. It is much easier for a citizen of Nigeria to obtain a tourist visa for the U.S. than for Canada,” Stephane Handfield, an immigration lawyer in Montreal, told ABC News in French. “So they get a U.S. tourist visa, stay a few days in the U.S. and cross the Canadian border.”

Handfield said it’s also easier for asylum seekers to obtain refugee status in Canada than in the United States.

Nigerians are fleeing their home country for a number of reasons, such as poverty, persecution and violent conflict, including Boko Haram’s years-long insurgency. The Nigeria-based jihadist group, which seeks to establish an Islamic state, has killed more than 20,000 people and displaced some 2.3 million since 2009, according to the latest figures from the United Nations.

“When people are fleeing persecution, whether they’re in Nigeria or elsewhere, they will take whatever method and route is available to them,” John Cockell, spokesman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Canada, told ABC News. “International humanitarian law recognizes this and that’s why asylum seekers are not penalized for entering a country using irregular means, as many choose to do in the case of Canada.”

“We feel [Canadian] authorities have actually done a very good job with managing the increased numbers,” Cockell added.

The Canadian government said it will build new facilities for short-term accommodations at a popular border crossing into the province of Quebec from New York state. Canadian officials will also fast-track work permits for asylum seekers, so they can financially support themselves and their families while they wait to see if their claim for protection is granted.

“While we adhere to international conventions and want to offer asylum to those fleeing persecution and war, the fact remains that there are very specific laws, rules and criteria to be respected in order to find refuge in our country,” Canada’s Minister of Transport Marc Garneau said in a statement.

ABC News

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

AMVCA 2024: Full Winners List

Published

on

Below are the list of winners👇

  • Best Movie: Breath of Life
  • Best Lead Actor: Wale Ojo(Breath of Life)
  • Best Lead Actress: Kehinde Bankole (Adire)
  • Best Indigenous West Africa. Femi Adebayo Jagun Jagun
  • Best writing movie: Fumilayo Rans0me Kuti
  • Best Scripted: Slùm King
  • Best Costume Design: Jagun Jagun (Lola Awe)
  • Best Supporting Actress: Genoveva Umeh (Breath of Life
  • Best Supporting Actor: Ademola Adedoyin (Breath of Life)
  • Best MultiChoice Talent Factory Movie: Our Dàrk Past
  • Best Makeup: Mami Wata (Campbell Precious Arebamen
  • Industry Merit Awards: Iya Rainbow aka Idowu Philips and Richard Mofe Damijo
  • Best Writing Award: Volume
  • Best Director: BB Sasore (Breath of Life)
Continue Reading

Foreign

Governor Sanwo-Olu Receives Prince Harry & Meghan Markle (Photos) 

Published

on

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, received the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, on Sunday.

The British Royal couple was received by Governor Sanwo-Olu; his wife, Dr. Ibijoke, and some members of the State Executive Council during a courtesy visit at Lagos House, Marina.

Prince Harry, accompanied by his wife, Meghan, is on a three-day visit to Nigeria to promote the Invictus Games, which he founded in 2014. The couples had a stopover in Lagos on Sunday.

The Invictus Games are aimed at raising funds and supporting serving members of the military as well as veterans to overcome their physical and mental illness or injuries, which would help them to develop a sense of belonging and increased self-esteem.

Speaking to journalists after a closed door meeting with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Governor Sanwo-Olu praised the British Royal couple for the work they are doing with Nigeria’s military men, especially on issues around mental health.

He said: “We are honoured to receive them (Prince Harry and Meghan Markle) at the Lagos House, Marina. We are excited about the ideas and what they are planning to do, especially with the office of the Chief of Defense Staff, General Christopher Musa, and his wife, Mrs. Lilian Musa.

“For Prince Harry, it has been a very interesting and informative trip to the country. He has seen a lot. And part of the things we are hoping he will take away is the diversity and extent of how big our country is, how we continue to ensure that we live together in peace and harmony, and what role Lagos plays in the whole conversation.

“They have been to Kano, Abuja, and now Lagos. I am sure they have their own experience of what Nigeria looks like. We have extended an additional invitation to them that they can always come back when they want to.

“We are indeed happy for what they are doing, especially for our military men, on the conversation around mental health issues and how they can galvanise their various NGOs to ensure that people who require their support, both in the military and private, can seek that support.

“Mental health issues are all around us. Denial and stigmatisation, are some of the things we talked about. And more importantly, at what point in Nigeria can we have the Invictus Games that Prince Harry is known for so that the true Nigerian competitiveness can also be reflected in those games”

Continue Reading

Foreign

US Announces African Infrastructure Venture Amid China’s Belt and Road Scrutiny

Published

on

In recent developments, the United States has announced plans to embark on its own infrastructure project in Africa, particularly in Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Angola. This initiative aims to refurbish and extend the Lobito Corridor, a railway system that will stretch through mineral-rich regions, linking Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo to an Atlantic port in Angola.

This move comes at a time when China’s efforts to expand its influence in Africa through infrastructure investments, notably its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), have faced scrutiny. Despite China’s investments, criticisms have emerged regarding the sustainability and completion of projects, prompting a shift in focus towards more manageable and sustainable initiatives.

The U.S, in collaboration with the European Union and African nations, is taking a proactive approach to ensure the success of the Lobito Corridor project. Key aspects include the involvement of private partners like the Africa Finance Corp., plans for long-term operation and maintenance, and capacity development strategies. This signifies a departure from past approaches and a commitment to transparent and sustainable infrastructure development.

Reflecting on China’s BRI, the U.S initiative seeks to learn from past experiences and avoid pitfalls encountered in previous projects. While China denies accusations of creating spheres of influence through its initiatives, concerns persist regarding the social, environmental, and economic impacts of its projects.

As the Lobito Corridor project progresses, attention is drawn to its potential connection with existing Chinese-built railways in the region, such as the Tazara railway linking Zambia and Tanzania. While the specifics are yet to be determined, the focus remains on practical and sustainable solutions that promote economic growth and benefit local communities.

Continue Reading

Trending