Prime minister accused of reducing immigration system to ‘shambles’ as Canada struggles to cope with asylum-seekers crossing border from US on foot

Justin Trudeau has sought to temper the notion that Canada is a guaranteed safe haven for those fleeing the threat of deportation in the United States, as his government faces criticism that its refugee-friendly messaging has given “false hope” to the thousands of asylum seekers streaming into Canada from the US.

Since the start of the year, more than 11,300 people have crossed into Canada by foot from the US. The pace has picked up in recent weeks, with as many as 250 people a day – many of them driven by fears of Donald Trump’s crackdown on immigrants – entering the country at remote, unguarded locations. Doing so allows them to skirt a longstanding pact that bars most refugee claimants in the US from applying for asylum in Canada.

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