A video has surfaced online showing Nigerian migrants making efforts to enter Canada illegally from the U.S. border.
The two countries share an international border.
The video was published in September 2017 by a Canadian media, CBC News.
The migrants, inside a Greyhound bus, are seen in the video arriving a filling station which also serves as a bus stop at Plattsburgh, New York, just before dawn.
From there, they took taxis to the border between the U.S and Canada, where they would cross by foot illegally into Quebec, Canada.
The taxis stopped at a road end. And the migrants, about 12 of them, got down were they were confronted by Canadian police officials.
“This is not a legal point of entry,” an officer said to the migrants standing a few metres away from the blocked border. “This is an illegal point.”
“Yes, we know,” the migrants chorused.
The voice-over the video says “The RCMP (referring to the Canadian police officer) is obligated to tell them with one step across they will be arrested.
“But still if they can slip into Canada they will be considered for asylum status. And that flicker of hope is enough for desperate people.”
One man among the migrants told the police officer that they believed Canada could help solve their problem and that was why they were desperate to enter the North American country illegally.
“We don’t have any other choice,” the man said.
And the others concurred: “We don’t have any other place to go back to. Our mind is made up, that’s why we want to come into Canada.”
The voice-over the video continued: “This is a mock standoff, really. Almost no one who comes here turns away.”
One of the migrants, identified as Lilian, is interviewed in the video.
She said she learnt about the illegal crossing from a report on television and had to read it up on Google.
Ms. Lilian, with her child strapped on her back, said Canada “has a future for the children and for everybody.
“I want to take the risk because I know there’s a future here for me and my baby.”
Ms. Lilian said her son is a U.S citizen but that she didn’t want to stay in the U.S “because Donald Trump doesn’t want me”.
“He (President Trump) says he doesn’t want immigrants. I am illegal in the United States. My visa expired in July,” she said.
She said the Canadian authorities didn’t have a choice other than to let her stay in their country.
The migrants, one after the other, walked across the border, dragging their suitcases behind them. They submitted to the Canadian police.
CBC News, on its website, quotes Canadian authorities as saying that there has been an increase in the number of asylum seekers who enter Quebec through Plattsburgh.
In the video, which is 11 minutes, 35 seconds long, another Nigerian migrant who gave her name as Aisha, is moving with her four children from the U.S to Canada.
“I have been in the U.S for a year now with no job, with this four children,” said Ms. Aisha who is a single mother.
“We used to go to church, to mosque to beg for money and for food. Now, they don’t want to take them in school,” she said with a shaky voice, almost crying.
Ms. Aisha said she has no legal papers to stay in the U.S. and that she ran away from Nigeria because of frustration. “I get to America, it is even worse,” she said.
“In Africa, they want them (her children) to go to Arabic school. At a tender age, they will give them to a man. I don’t want that to happen,” she said.
When asked if she thought she would be able to stay in Canada, Ms. Aisha responded, “I can work, I’m an African woman. If I see a job, I will do it. I want a better life for my children.”
The U.S. President, Donald Trump, had promised during his campaign that if elected president he would see to the mass deportation of undocumented immigrants.
Immigration crisis, alongside human trafficking, has become a major concern to various organisations and leaders across the globe, especially with the horrible stories of organ trade in Libya and other parts of the world.
A recent report by the BBC said many migrants who attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea into Europe are intercepted and imprisoned in Libya before they are leased or sold into slavery.
Nigerian are among the many Africans who are subjected to the inhuman treatment in Libya.
Abike Dabiri-Erewa, a Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Foreign Relations and Diaspora, said through a Twitter post on Thursday that Nigeria’s fact-finding team on Libya, led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, met with over 600 Nigerians locked up at Tetsura detention camp in Tripoli.
“All will be home soon,” she assured in her tweet.
In Israel, African migrants have been told to leave the country or be ready to face imprisonment.
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