Federal ministers to speak live in Emerson, Man. about influx of asylum seekers

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Two federal cabinet ministers are visiting Emerson today — the small Manitoba town that an influx of asylum seekers fleeing the United States have been walking through to get into Canada.

The Liberal cabinet minister responsible for Manitoba, Jim Carr, along with Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale are making the trip to observe what’s happening on the ground in the town on the U.S.-Canada border.

As CBC News revealed in January, hundreds of asylum seekers have crossed into Manitoba near Emerson in the past year.

Manitoba RCMP said Saturday they have come into contact with 183 people entering into Manitoba somewhere other than a border crossing so far in 2017. That number doesn’t include asylum seekers who have walked over without coming into contact with police.

Asylum seekers have been walking through snow-covered fields, often in frigid temperatures, to reach Canada.

They’ve been using an exception in the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement, which allows refugee claims from people who’ve entered the country somewhere other than an official port of entry.

Under the agreement, refugee claimants are required to request refugee protection in the first safe country they arrive in — meaning would-be claimants arriving at an official border crossing from the U.S. would be turned back.

Carr and Goodale are expected to speak to the media at 10:30 a.m. CT. CBC News has a team in Emerson and will stream the news conference live.

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Federal ministers to speak live in Emerson, Man. about influx of asylum seekers

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