More than 430 African migrants have arrived in Winnipeg since April, up from 70 three years ago. Most come by way of Minneapolis, sometimes after grueling treks across Latin America and stints in U.S. immigration detention.
A tangle of factors is fueling the surge: brisker traffic along an immigrant smuggling route out of East Africa, stepped-up deportations under the Obama administration and the lure of Canada’s gentler welcome. Advocates expect the Trump administration’s harder line on immigration will spur even more illegal crossings into Canada, where some nonprofits serving asylum seekers are already overwhelmed. Now Canadians worry smugglers are making fresh profits from asylum seekers and migrants take more risks to make the crossing.