Canadian police intercept 22 people on U.S.-Manitoba border overnight

The number of asylum seekers continues to surge at the Canadian border.

ByMICHAEL EDISON HAYDEN and BENJAMIN GITTLESON
February 19, 2017, 4:16 PM

— -- Canadian police intercepted 22 people overnight near Emerson, Manitoba, for illegally crossing the border, according to police.

The small town of Emerson has become a hotspot for asylum seekers seeking refuge in Canada since the election of President Trump, who made reducing illegal immigration and decreasing the number of refugees entering the U.S. a central part of his platform.

The border town of 671 has been galvanized to help asylum seekers, as the issue has brought an influx of media attention from across the globe, according to the CBC.

PHOTO: (L-R) Rita Chahal, Greg Janzen, Tara Seel and Jeryn Peters speak to media after a town hall meeting in Emerson, Manitoba, Feb. 9, 2017.
(L-R) Rita Chahal, Executive Director of Manitoba Interfaith Immigration Council, Greg Janzen, Reeve of Emerson-Franklin, Tara Seel, Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Jeryn Peters, Canada Border Services Agency Chief of Operations Emerson speak to media after a town hall meeting in Emerson, Manitoba, Feb. 9, 2017.
John Woods/The Canadian Press via AP

Greg Janzen, an official who heads the town, told CTV, a Canadian network, that he's witnessed a definitive shift in the number of asylum seekers coming across the border since Trump took office.

"I think we're just going to see them coming every day now, instead of just on the weekends. And the groups are going to get bigger and bigger," Janzen said.

He said that most of the asylum seekers come from African countries, and that he has concerns about the number of people crossing the border into his town, which does not have the resources to handle them all.

"As the numbers get bigger there is growing concerns," he said.

PHOTO: The Canada U.S. border crossing near Emerson, Manitoba is pictured on Feb. 9, 2016.
The Canada U.S. border crossing near Emerson, Manitoba is pictured on Feb. 9, 2016. Refugees have been crossing into Canada at Emerson and authorities had a town hall meeting in Emerson to discuss their options.
John Woods/The Canadian Press via AP

Trump highlighted the issue of immigration again during a campaign style rally Saturday in Florida by criticizing refugee policies in Europe.

"Here's the bottom line -- we have to keep our country safe," Trump started, before pivoting to the subject of Europe.

"When you look at what's happening in Germany, when you look at what's happening last night in Sweden -- Sweden. Who would believe this? Sweden. They took in large numbers, they're having problems like they never thought possible," he said.

Trump then listed several European cities that have suffered high profile terror attacks, including Paris and Brussels.

The comments drew criticism and even derision from some critics, who questioned why Sweden was included in a list of places that had experienced highly publicized terror attacks in recent years.

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