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Canadian dioceses rally to help migrants, mostly Haitians, fleeing U.S.

“This space, with a dozen rooms, will serve as temporary and safe housing for the time it takes to handle the required migration phases,” he wrote.

“The welcoming of pregnant women and single mothers, who are considered to be the most vulnerable and at-risk, are our priority.”

By entering Canada illegally, the asylum seekers hope to avoid being returned to the United States under provisions of the Safe Third Country Agreement between the two countries. It requires asylum seekers to file their claims in the first safe country in which they arrive. But the agreement only applies to people who cross the border legally at recognized entry points, not to those who enter illegally elsewhere. These people must now prove they are legitimate refugees who face persecution if they are returned to their home country.

“There is uncertainty for people,” said Bishop Faubert. “Who are we to judge why they crossed the border?”

People might say these are “not refugees, their lives are not in danger, but we don’t know that,” he said.

Bishop Faubert said how Canadians respond to the asylum seekers may be a test of their core values.

He admitted he does not have “a special telephone line with God,” to help him “understand the signs of the times,” but he said some refugees will come because of war, but many more will be economic migrants and refugees fleeing poverty and the effects of climate change.

“This little wave, it could become big waves,” he said. “We don’t have too much time to reflect on this matter and make up our minds.”





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