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Manitoba RCMP warn refugees of dangerous trek across US/Canada border

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Manitoba RCMP warn refugees of dangerous trek across US/Canada border – Feb 17, 2017

EMERSON — Manitoba RCMP are asking for organizations that work with refugees to warn them about the dangers of crossing the Canada/US border.

Mounties issued the plea on Friday in Emerson, Manitoba, where the night before 8 illegal border crossings took place.

READ MORE: ‘This is the only way to be safe’: Former refugees react to influx of asylum seekers in Emerson, Manitoba

“They should be aware that if they’re going to be crossing here that this is dangerous, like I said this terrain can be very challenging,” said Scott Kolody, RCMP Asst. Commander of D Division.

Kolody described crossing the border in darkness and freezing cold temperatures as “extremely dangerous and treacherous.”

READ MORE: Refugees brave freezing cold, walk to Canada to escape Donald Trump’s USA

He said there can be everything from barbed wire to drainage ditches in the American fields to the south of the border, where most asylum seekers are crossing.

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When they get through, members from the integrated border enforcement team arrest the individuals. But first they make sure they’re okay.

“How are they doing? Are they okay? Are they cold? Do they need medical attention? That’s the very first concern,” said team member and RCMP Sgt. Corey Meyers.

READ MORE: Emerson officials concerned for public safety after flood of refugees fleeing US

“The weather can get very cold, it can get very windy and it can change in a moment’s notice, it’s a very dangerous activity that’s occurring out here,” said Meyers.

Meyers is hoping that message gets passed on to asylum seekers planning to cross the borders illegally.

So far this year, 77 people have crossed the Manitoba/US border and claimed refugee status.