Minnesota becomes a gateway to Canada for rejected African migrants

On Feb 4, 2017 The Start Tribune reported: More than 430 African migrants have arrived in Winnipeg since April, up from 70 three years ago. Most come by way of Minneapolis, sometimes after grueling treks across Latin America and stints in U.S. immigration detention.

The men pay hundreds of dollars for middle-of-the-night cab rides north to the Canadian border. They wade into the Red River to dodge border agents in summer and trudge through waist-deep snow in winter. On Christmas Eve, two wandered in the wind-swept flatness and lost their fingers to frostbite.

Minnesota has become a key stop for a soaring number of migrants from Somalia and other African countries who sneak into Canada to seek asylum. More than 430 arrived in Winnipeg since April, up from 70 three years ago. Most come by way of Minneapolis, sometimes after grueling treks across Latin America and stints in U.S. immigration detention.

The exodus is now coinciding with new steps by the Trump White House to restrict immigrant and refugee entry — policies expected to spur even more crossings.

“I was used to people coming north into the U.S.,” said Scott Webster, deputy agent in charge at the U.S. Border Patrol’s Pembina, N.D., station and a veteran of the border with Mexico. “Now, they are still going north, but heading out of the U.S.”

Read more at Minnesota now gateway to Canada for rejected migrants – StarTribune.com

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