February 16, 2017 10:31 am
Updated: February 16, 2017 10:37 am

‘Illegal entry is illegal entry’: Quebec premier responds to U.S. asylum seekers

WATCH ABOVE: Politicians are divided on how to respond to the growing number of people crossing into Quebec on foot to claim refugee status. Raquel Fletcher reports.

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The RCMP says it arrests people every day who are crossing the Canadian border illegally from the U.S.

Wednesday, a woman and baby trampled through deep snow, intentionally getting arrested at an uncontrolled Quebec – New York border crossing.

“Illegal entry is illegal entry and will remain illegal entry,” said premier Philippe Couillard.


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The RCMP is in contact with the province, but so far Quebec police have not gotten involved.

READ MORE: More refugees arrested after illegally crossing into Quebec

The premier said he is not worried.

“I don’t expect this to be a longterm phenomenon. It’s associated with the current instability or unpredictability of certain policies south of us,” he said.

According to the Canada Border Services Agency, in January, roughly 450 people made a refugee claim after coming to Canada by land.

READ MORE: No reports of refugees crossing into province outside of official border points: Sask. RCMP

The official opposition thinks the country should accept them with open arms.

“There are people who wanted to have asylum in the United States that are prevented from doing so,” said Parti Québécois (PQ) leader Jean-François Lisée.

“We have a process. We should extend a hand. I see no problem with that.”

But not everyone shares Lisée’s view of an open border.

READ MORE: Welcome Place in need of donations following flood of refugees crossing into Manitoba

“I think we need to be careful,” said Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) leader François Legault.

“I think we need to make sure that we have full security and that the people coming here are people that we want to have.”

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale plans to discuss border issues with U.S. Homeland Secretary.

READ MORE: Syrian family seeking asylum illegally enters Quebec through US-Canada border

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wouldn’t say whether the issue came up when he met with President Donald Trump for the first time on Monday.

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