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Task force to review next steps for asylum seekers

An asylum seeker checks his phone next to a tent at the Canada-United States border in Lacolle, Que. Thursday, August 10, 2017.
An asylum seeker checks his phone next to a tent at the Canada-United States border in Lacolle, Que. Thursday, August 10, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

The federal-provincial task force charged with managing an unprecedented flow of asylum seekers over the Canada-U.S. border will meet Wednesday in Montreal to review the next steps in handling the surge.

READ MORE: Asylum seekers entering Quebec on the rise: immigration department

Though the numbers of those crossing into Quebec seems to have moderated in recent days, officials are still ramping up the government’s ability to process their claims for refugee status.

Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen says additional members of his department are being deployed in Montreal to allow initial claims for asylum to be assessed faster.

READ MORE: Border services overwhelmed as Haitians continue to seek asylum in Quebec

He says the goal is eventually to ensure his department can process those claims at the temporary shelters and camps set up to handle the 6,000 people who have crossed since July.

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WATCH BELOW: Asylum seekers in Quebec

The vast majority are Haitians fleeing a change in U.S. immigration policy that could see them deported, but they’re one of several groups now facing that reality.

READ MORE: Couillard warns would-be asylum seekers: “There is no guarantee”

Hussen says he’s aware others could also be eyeing Canada as a safe haven, but the government would be able to respond quickly should another wave of asylum seekers materialize.

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