Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Asylum Seeker's Death Failure by Ottawa to Get Trump to Change Policies: Premier

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Asylum Seeker's Death Failure by Ottawa to Get Trump to Change Policies: Premier

Article excerpt

Asylum seeker's death a failure by Ottawa: premier


WINNIPEG - Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister says the federal government has failed to reduce the risk in illicit border crossings because it has not tried to persuade the U.S. president to soften his immigration and deportation policies.

A woman who authorities believe was originally from Ghana was found dead from apparent hypothermia near the U.S.-Manitoba border on Friday. Mavis Otuteye, 57, was found roughly one kilometre south of the border near Noyes in a remote part of northwestern Minnesota.

Pallister said the President Donald Trump's crackdown is driving people to sneak across the border and risk their lives.

"We need to address the root cause of this ... the desperation people clearly are feeling -- combined with the hope they feel -- as they pursue a better life and come from the United States to Canada and to Manitoba," Pallister said Wednesday.

"In the absence of any rational arguments to persuade people, they tend not to change their mind. I haven't any evidence that our federal government has attempted to persuade the president of the need for him to change his approach."

Pallister also said the federal government has not listened to his request to talk to immigrant communities in cities such as Minneapolis to dissuade people from making the journey across fields and ditches into Canada.

"This was one of the aspects I communicated weeks and weeks ago that hasn't been acted upon."

A spokesman for Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said Goodale was not able to respond directly to Pallister's comments, but added that the government has been clear in its messaging.

"Entering Canada outside of ports of entry is illegal and anyone doing so will be arrested," press secretary Scott Bardsley wrote in an email.

"Irregularly crossing the border is not a free ticket to Canada. Anyone who is found to not be a genuine refugee will be removed according to Canadian law."

Refugee advocates and immigration lawyers say many refugee claimants have no choice but to cross through fields and ditches because, under the Canada-U. …

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