Canadian military builds camp to house asylum seekers near USA border

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Officials estimate that 400 people crossed the border at the site on Sunday alone.

Immigration Canada says the number of asylum seekers crossing illegally near the Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Que., border crossing has quadrupled in the past two weeks from about 50 a day to 200 a day. They will also install lighting and heating equipment. Even before the flow of Haitian asylum seekers Canada was on track to have the most refugee claims in nearly a decade.

There are now about 700 asylum seekers waiting to be processed, many of them Haitians who were allowed into the United States under temporary protection status after a massive quake struck that country in 2010.

The military would have no role in security matters, Le Bouthillier said in emailed statement.

While under Canada's Third Safe Country agreement with the USA asylum seekers who attempt to cross at legal border crossings are turned away at the border because the considered a safe country, the government says under the UN Refugee Convention it is compelled to hear the asylum claims of those who cross the border through unofficial crossings and make their refugee claims inland.

"There's the United States; this is Canada".

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Last week, Montreal's Olympic Stadium was set up to handle asylum seekers after the YWCA became too crowded, but the stadium is booked for other uses beginning next month, said officials at a news conference, so the tent city is being constructed.

In addition, on Wednesday, public health officials announced the site of the Royal Victoria Hospital will be transformed into a shelter with 300 to 320 beds.

In May, Donald Trump announced that the U.S. would end the programme that extended temporary protection to Haitian citizens after the devastating 2010 quake.

Numerous arrivals are being housed in Montreal at the Olympic Stadium.

"We try to keep families together".