Haitians are using Canada to illegally enter the United States: US Authorities

Is Canada a way to enter the United States illegally?

This week reports from American authorities surfaced that many Haitians have been entering the United States from Canada since January’s devastating earthquake. More specifically, over 120 Haitians have been caught illegally crossing at the Vermont-Quebec border, usually in the middle of the night and on foot.

The record number of Haitians caught crossing the border include men, women and children and many of them have received the assistance of traffickers.

The United States Border Patrol has also stated that most of the Haitians were traveling to cities like New York and Miami, where there are large Haitian communities and where they likely have family. Some have also lived in Canada for years, after being ordered deported from the United States back to Haiti and instead fleeing to Canada.

President Obama made a decision to grant temporary protected status to Haitians living illegally in the United States after the earthquake – so they would not be deported back to the country that was in shambles. It’s something that many speculate the smugglers would have told the Haitians trying to cross the border, but not that the temporary protected status only applies to those who were already in the United States during the earthquake, not anyone who tries to illegally enter the country afterwards.

Some have also speculated the reason the Haitians are so desperate to cross and risk the stiff penalties is that without some kind of status they cannot sponsor their families to come over. Others had lost most of their families and might have had a few relatives remaining in the United States.

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Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.

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About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the American Bar Association. He is frequently called upon to appear in the media to discuss Canadian and US immigration issues effecting North Americans. He has been interviewed by Canada AM, CTV, Canada News Net, the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star and has given lectures on immigration topics overseas.

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