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As More Asylum-Seekers Flee To Canada, Taxi Rides To The Border Raise Red Flags

This Greyhound stop in Plattsburg, N.Y., is the last stop before the Canadian border. Cab drivers wait here to pick up fares, which often include asylum-seekers looking to illegally walk into Canada.
Photo by Kathleen Masterson for VPR

As high volumes of migrants flee the United States to apply for asylum in Canada, one popular route into Quebec is just west of Lake Champlain. To get to the snowy illegal crossing, many are calling a cab.

But there’s a catch: Some of those cabbies are coordinating with U.S. Border Patrol, and that practice has some civil liberties advocates concerned.

For most people looking to apply for asylum in Canada, it’s not as simple as showing up at a checkpoint. That’s because an agreement between the two countries says if an asylum-seeker is already in the United States, he or she cannot then apply for asylum in Canada.

So many are walking across the border illegally between checkpoints.

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