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The Other Side of Roxham Road: Canada Grapples With Border Refugees

The Canada border at Roxham Road near Champlain, New York. Royal Canadian Mounted Police staff this unofficial crossing 24 hours a day. Photo by Lorne Matalon for VPR

Washington D.C. has ended a temporary residency program for almost 60,000 Haitians allowed to legally enter the United States following an earthquake in 2010. The affected Haitians will have to leave the U.S. by 2019. The program has also been revoked for 2,000 Nicaraguans and it’s unclear if other groups, including 300,000 Salvadorans, will be allowed to remain.

The net result is a continued flow of people crossing the border into Canada by foot. They are taking advantage of a footnote in a Canada-U.S. treaty that says foot crossers won’t be turned back from Canada until their case is heard.

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