Canadian army builds tented city to house Haitian arrivals

Olympic Stadium In Quebec Turned Into Welcome Center For Refugees From US

"It's a very demanding humanitarian operation", said Lefort, adding that staff has been brought in from all over the country to handle the growing number of asylum seekers showing up at the Lacolle border crossing.

"These will be used as additional shelters for asylum claimants who are waiting to be processed by the CBSA [Canadian Border Services Agency]", said CBSA spokesperson Judith Gadbois-St-Cyr.

According to The Associated Press, those illegally crossing the border into Canada are doing so out of fear of being deported from the U.S. Most are Haitian nationals who have been living in the U.S. since an natural disaster hit their home nation in 2010.

The modular tents have floors, lighting and heating.

The camp would house up to 500 asylum seekers in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Quebec, near Plattsburgh, New York. Soldiers are still present, as construction of the camp is still underway.

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Tents were assembled on Wednesday by the Canadian military as temporary shelters to accommodate a surge in asylum seekers crossing into Quebec from the US.

The Red Cross is providing beds, food, hygiene kits and medical help to the migrants waiting to be processed.

From Jan. 1 to June 30, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police - the federal agency responsible for border security between legal crossings - has intercepted 4,345 asylum seekers, according to statistics provided by the federal government.

Canada's Third Safe Country agreement with the US means that most asylum seekers who attempt to cross at legal border crossings are turned away because the U.S.is considered a safe country.

Rodrigue said the visit was to show asylum seekers "the Haitian people and government are with them, are behind them and don't forget about them".

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