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Hundreds gather outside Olympic Stadium in support of refugees

Click to play video: 'Montrealers rally in support of asylum seekers'
Montrealers rally in support of asylum seekers
WATCH ABOVE: Hundreds of Montrealers gathered outside Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Sunday afternoon in a show of support for the roughly 500 asylum seekers temporarily being housed there. Global’s Matt Grillo reports – Aug 6, 2017

Editor’s note: Inaccurately phrased information has been removed from this story. 

Just outside where approximately 500 asylum seekers are being housed in a temporary shelter inside Montreal’s Olympic Stadium, hundreds gathered for a demonstration to show their support for refugees.

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

“Human beings cannot be alien on planet earth,” Jean Saint-Vil, a participant in the demonstration, said.

“Who tells us that the next Canadian astronaut has not just crossed the border today?”

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Despite a recent surge in asylum seekers, some in attendance Sunday hope the country can take even more.

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WATCH BELOW: Border officials are expecting as many as 1,000 asylum seekers to cross the U.S. border into Quebec, this weekend alone. But can our system handle them? 

Click to play video: 'Can Canada handle influx of asylum seekers?'
Can Canada handle influx of asylum seekers?

“Today these people may be refugees, but we don’t know what they’ll become tomorrow,” Saint-Vil said. “So let’s make sure we invest in them as assets and not see them as a threat.”

Anti-immigration groups had planned a counter-protest, but it was cancelled.

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

Those in support of refugees hope they can have a bright future in Canada.

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“I’m hoping they get status and can build their lives,” Jaggi Singh, Solidarity Across Borders member, said. “I’m hoping that the basic dignity, the dreams they have as human beings that they can realize them like any of us.”

 

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