Three more people arrested in connection to human smuggling case after investigation into asylum seekers crossing into Sask.
Three more people have been arrested in connection to a human smuggling case.
U.S. border officials confirm two Canadians and a Nigerian were apprehended on Friday between the North Portal and Northgate ports along the U.S. Saskatchewan border.
In addition, Michelle Omoruyi, 43, is facing human smuggling charges after she and nine foreign nationals were intercepted crossing into Saskatchewan at a remote location along the border on April 14.
RCMP said Wednesday that they’re still investigating whether the Canadians arrested in the U.S. will face charges on this side of the border.
“We’re investigating their involvement, and once the investigation is complete and we determine what exactly their level of participation in it [was], we’ll assess whether additional charges will be laid,” Insp. Donovan Fisher, RCMP Federal Operations and National Security said.
Carly Romanow, Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan programs director and staff lawyer, said asylum-seekers have limited options when they arrive in Saskatchewan.
“Saskatchewan doesn’t have legal aid that covers immigration, so when they come to Saskatchewan essentially their options are hiring a private lawyer which a lot of times is not available to immigrants that have just newly come to Canada or Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan. Our organization is based on volunteers,” Romanow said.
Romanow said the organization tries to match asylum seekers with volunteer lawyers, but that doesn’t guarantee representation at a refugee hearing.
“I think refugees are getting advice that Saskatchewan doesn’t have legal aid for immigration and so Manitoba and Ontario have received a lot of, I believe the majority of asylum seekers from the United States,” she said. “But I think that there’s been a clamp down on Manitoba and Ontario.”
Police said the nine West African foreign nationals are seeking refugee status in Canada and have been released.
Omoruyi will make her first court appearance on May 15 in Estevan.
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