August 3, 2017 4:03 pm
Updated: August 3, 2017 6:18 pm

RCMP boosts presence at Lacolle border to accommodate surge of asylum seekers

WATCH: Quebec is seeing an influx of asylum seekers who are leaving the U.S. in droves. As Global's Dan Spector reports, a temporary border has been opened at the Lacolle crossing.


Dozens of asylum seekers are crossing the Lacolle Canada-U.S. border illegally, bringing everything — and everyone — they can before promptly getting arrested by RCMP officers.

“We stop them, we arrest them, we check them and then we pass them to our colleague at the CBSA,” explained Erique Grasse, a spokesperson with the RCMP.

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READ MORE: Quebec housing asylum seekers in Olympic Stadium, dealing with 150 requests a day

The area has become a common place for migrants and refugees to cross the border illegally.

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

“We’ve noted an increase in the last month, that’s for sure,” Grasse said.

READ MORE: With spike in asylum seekers, Montreal’s Olympic Stadium to be used as shelter

The influx is so great that a tent and several porta potties have been installed; agents now monitor the crossing at all times.

WATCH BELOW: Asylum seekers are heading to Montreal

Daniel Striletsky, city manager of Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, told Global News he’s happy officers have bolstered their presence because migrants were often crossing and knocking on doors for help — no matter what time of day.

“Now, the RCMP being there on almost a permanent basis…it basically takes care of that problem,” he said.

It’s also creating a traffic issue for residents in the area.

Striletsky said he believes the increase of people crossing the border is directly related to the Trump administration talking tough about immigration.

READ MORE: Number of asylum seekers continues to rise, especially in Quebec

“Every time that he implements those policies or makes them worse, the effects are manifested,” he said.

READ MORE: Increase of asylum claims in Canada means wait times could hit over 11 years, cost $2.97B

After the migrants are stopped and processed, they board a bus and head to Montreal, where many are being housed at the Olympic Stadium.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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