U.S. announcement to end temporary resident status for Haitians put Canada on alert.




A decision by the Trump administration to end a temporary residency permit program that has allowed almost 60,000 Haitians to live and work in the United States puts the Canadian government on alert for a potential new surge of asylum seekers at the border.

Haitians were placed on notice earlier this year, and, few months later, waves of people began crossing illegally into Canada from the U.S. to claim asylum, catching the Liberals off guard when the crowds began to number more than 200 people a day.

The Homeland Security Department said yesterday that conditions in Haiti have improved significantly, so the benefit will be extended one last time  until July 2019  to give Haitians time to prepare to return home.

About 437,000 people live legally in the United States with what’s known as temporary protected status, meaning they can’t be deported back to their home countries because it is unsafe.

A spokesperson for Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said while Canada remains an “open and welcoming country to people seeking refuge,” anyone entering Canada must do so “through the proper channels.”

Liberal MP Emmanuel Dubourg said that the recent announcement that Canada will accept close to one million immigrants over the next three years ended up as a story in the Haitian press about Canada opening its doors to a million immigrants this year. It was framed as proof Haitians were welcome.Dubourg said he called the paper two weeks ago to clear things up but not before he realized the story had been shared hundreds of times on Facebook.

Dubourg, who is Haitian, will also be trying to clear up a misconception that asylum is simple to obtain in Canada.

The U.S. extended temporary protected status to Haitians after the 2010 earthquake, as did Canada, but Ottawa resumed deportations there this year. Some 262,000 Salvadorans are also awaiting word of a decision on their status, as it’s set to expire in March.

The Liberals have been reaching out to the Hispanic community, too.