Last month, MPR News went to the Minnesota-Canadian border to report on the dozens of mostly African refugees heading north to seek asylum in Canada.
The crossings north were so frequent this winter that they threatened to overwhelm Manitoba's aid systems. It now appears the influx of refugees to Canada isn't slowing down anytime soon.
• Dangerous passage: Refugees in Minnesota risk death to reach Canada
Part of the cause was President Trump's election, since his victory and subsequent policies — including the travel ban — have sparked fear among refugees in Minnesota and nationwide.
It can be a risky voyage to get to Canada, especially in the harsh winter. One Ghanian man who spoke to MPR News suffered such severe frostbite he lost all his fingers and parts of his ears during the trip.
After reaching Canada, many people illegally crossing the border wind up at the Manitoba Interfaith Immigration Council, which provides legal assistance for refugees looking for asylum.
• More: Who are Minnesota's refugees?
The council served some 200 people in 2016, a big jump from its past average of 50 to 60 cases a year.
In 2017, the council projects it will handle 1,000 refugee asylum claims.
As refugees continue flocking to Canada, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll found almost half of Canadians want to deport those who illegally cross into the country. It also found that four in 10 respondents said the refugees may make Canada "less safe." Writes Reuters:
"The increasing flow of hundreds of asylum-seekers of African and Middle Eastern origin from the United States in recent months is becoming a contentious issue in Canada. Although there has been broad bipartisan support for high levels of legal immigration for decades in Canada, [Prime Minister Justin] Trudeau is under pressure over the flow of the illegal migrants.
He is questioned about it almost every time he appears in parliament, from opponents on the left, who want more asylum-seekers to be allowed in, and critics on the right, who say the migrants pose a potential security risk."
A separate poll that Reuters/Ipsos conducted in the same week found that 50 percent of U.S. adults surveyed support "increasing the deportation of illegal immigrants."
MPR News' reporters Dan Gunderson and Laura Yuen discussed their reporting for "Dangerous passage: Refugees in Minnesota risk death to reach Canada" on Facebook Live on Monday. Watch the video here: