Migrants Bused From NYC Are Crossing Canadian Border

Quebec official calls development 'surprising'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 7, 2023 6:36 PM CST
NYC Buses Migrants to Near Canadian Border
In this March 18, 2020 photo, asylum seekers cross the border from New York into Canada at Roxham Road in Hemmingford, Quebec.   (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press via AP, File)

Migrants from Latin America and beyond have been arriving at the border of a land of opportunity to the north—and New York City has been sending them there. The New York Post reports that National Guard soldiers have been helping to distribute free tickets at New York's Port Authority Bus Terminal to destinations including Plattsburgh in upstate New York, which is a 30-minute taxi ride to Roxham Road, an unofficial border crossing into Canada. New York Mayor Eric Adams confirmed Monday that the city was paying for the bus tickets. "If they are seeking to go somewhere else, we are helping in the reticketing process," he told Fox 5.

Texas and other Republican-led states have been sending migrants to New York City, and Adams said many had other destinations in mind. "Some want to go to Canada, some want to go to warmer states, and we are there for them as they continue to (move) on," Adams said. Adams staffers told Radio-Canada that they "don't treat Plattsburgh any differently than any other city," though they did not respond when asked if they were aware that many people who were sent to Plattsburgh crossed into the Canadian province of Quebec.

Under the Safe Third Country Agreement the US and Canada signed in 2002, asylum seekers must submit their application at the first of the two countries they reach, and they can't try again at an official border crossing, the CBC reports. But unofficial crossing points like Roxham Road are a loophole, and more than 200 people have been crossing on some days. Christine Fréchette, Quebec's immigration minister, said the news about buses from New York was "surprising," the BBC reports. She said it highlighted the need to "solve the problem of Roxham Road." She said negotiations between Canada and the US to update the Safe Third Country Agreement are underway. (More US-Canadian border stories.)

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