World Bulletin / News Desk
The Trump administration said earlier this week the temporary status of 5,300 Nicaraguans would end in January, while 86,000 Hondurans have been granted a six-month extension to July 2018. Each group was allowed temporary protected status after Central America was devastated by Hurricane Mitch in 1999 and the designation has been repeatedly renewed, until now.
Thousands of Haitians are afraid their temporary status in the U.S. will end and hundreds of Haitians per day have illegally entered Canada in 2017.
They were granted temporary status in the U.S. after the island was hit by an earthquake in 2010. The decision whether Haitians must leave is expected by Nov. 23.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security will have to rule on 195,000 Salvadorans by Jan. 8. They were given temporary status after an earthquake in 2001.
With the uncertain future facing those groups, Canadian officials worry thousands will try to illegally cross into Canada -- about 15,000 did so as of October.
Three Liberal Party MPs are going to U.S. cities in the next two weeks to talk to Hispanic and Haitian communities, and urge them to use the legal route if they wish to claim asylum.
Diplomats from 12 Canadian consulates in the U.S. are going to contact nonprofit organizations, community groups and politicians in New York, Florida and California.
The legal route entails applying to Immigration Canada as a refugee and asking for protection.
Acceptance is based on whether the applicant would face persecution in his or her home country.
But many have taken the illegal route. If those who crossed had done so at official ports of entry, they could have been turned back to the U.S. under the Safe Third Country Agreement between the Washington and Ottawa.
That agreement means refugee claimants must request refugee protection in the first safe country they arrive in.
By crossing the border at other points, they can be arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and turned over to the border services agency to begin the admission process.
There is no guarantee they will be able to stay in Canada, but they are not immediately turned back to the United States.