Inside the U.S. shelter helping asylum seekers reach Canada

In News by MIIC

Workers at a U.S. border charity that helps asylum seekers reach Canada say they’ve seen a spike in requests for shelter from people who no longer feel safe in the United States.

Vive, which translates to “live” in Spanish, is run out a former school in Buffalo, N.Y. The non-profit centre, which dates back to 1985, has about 200 beds for undocumented migrants who are now arriving by the dozens each day from as far away as Texas.

Vive manager Mariah Walker told CTV’s Peter Akman the non-profit has been receiving as many as 2,000 phone calls a day. Many of the undocumented migrants say they are living in fear of President Donald Trump, who has vowed to deport millions.

Vive runs on donations. It charges a registration fee of US$100 per adult and US$100 per week per person over age seven for access to beds, housing, meals, medical care, legal services and internet.

Staff assist asylum seekers in setting up meetings with the Canadian Border Services Agency, which will arrange for refugee hearings in less than a month if a migrant can prove he or she has a qualified family member north of the border.

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