Saskatchewan RCMP charge woman with human smuggling relating to refugees

U.S. border patrol officials confirm a number of people were taken into custody south of the border near Portal N.D. on Friday

The Canada Border Services Agency says that almost half of the 1,860 migrants who have snuck across the Canada-United States border on foot rather than making a claim for refugee status at an official border crossing did so in March.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police says a 43-year-old woman driving north into the Canadian prairie province of Saskatchewan was arrested after being stopped Friday with nine people from West Africa in her vehicle. A home in Regina was searched Saturday and a significant amount of foreign currency was found, the RCMP said.

The deal states that people can't make refugee claims at the Canada-U.S. land border crossing points because they should have been able to lodge one in the country they're coming from.

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Fisher wouldn't say if anyone else is involved in the alleged smuggling or if the woman charged is a Canadian citizen.

The union representing border patrol officers raised concerns about public safety last week, saying almost half of the asylum seekers entering at Emerson in the last few weeks have some criminality in their backgrounds. Omoruyi is set to appear in court on May 15.

"They're conducting a parallel investigation on the south side of the border".

The RCMP intercepted 1,860 people walking unlawfully across the border in the first three months of 2017.

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"So although it's organized, it's not necessarily something that's occurring on a daily or a weekly basis".

The trend continued in March, with 887 people caught border-jumping last month, up from 658 in February.

The nine people were not injured and were safely transferred to the custody of Canada Border Services Agency.

The two most popular provinces for asylum seekers crossing illegally continues to be Manitoba and Quebec.

Entering the country at remote, unguarded locations allows migrants - many of whom are anxiously fleeing Donald Trump's crackdown on immigrants - to skirt a longstanding pact that bars most refugee claimants in the U.S. from applying for asylum in Canada.

Others had Canada in their sights all along as their final destination, obtaining US visas exclusively for the objective of coming here.

NDP Immigration critic Jenny Kwan said the government needs to find a way to address what's clearly a growing problem by both helping the Immigration and Refugee Board deal with the increased case load and rethinking the Safe Third Country agreement with the US that's pushing folks to cross between regular border entry points. "They're vulnerable and may be taken advantage of by people looking to gain financially from their situation".

This number represents asylum seekers intercepted between designated ports of entry.

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