Wind turbines’ blinking red lights often guide migrants walking from the United States to enter Canada. REUTERS/Lyle Stafford
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Jaime French was jarred out of bed in Emerson, Manitoba early one morning this month by pounding at her front door, just yards from the U.S. border.Those arriving in Emerson come on foot in the dead of night, unnerving its 650 residents.Canadian police caught up with them shortly afterward and arrested them for illegally entering Canada.A 2004 agreement between Canada and the United States means asylum-seekers must submit applications in the United States if they arrive there first. But if they find a way into Canada, they can apply for refugee status there.In the first two months of 2017, 143 mainly Somali people walked illegally over the border into Emerson, representing 40 percent of Manitoba's full-year total in 2015/16 .Emerson residents don't encounter the migrants for long before police arrive and whisk them to the local Canada Border Services Agency office for questioning. In early February, police intercepted 18 migrants from Somalia and Djibouti and CBSA asked Emerson to temporarily house them in the town's ice rink.
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