21 people cross border into Emerson overnight: RCMP
A total of 21 people crossed the Canada-U.S. border on foot near Emerson overnight, according to the RCMP.
Municipality of Emerson-Franklin Reeve Greg Janzen told CTV News said Saturday, the number of people who made it across the border was confirmed to him by the Canada Border Services Agency and RCMP.
Emerson-Franklin Coun. Doug Johnston said the fire department responded to two calls early Saturday morning due to people being cold.
"They were scattered all over the place," said Johnston.
He said the first call came in around 3:05 a.m. He said it was a group of five people, but one person got lost because the 911 signal dropped out.
That person has since been located.
Johnston said the second call to the fire department came in around 6:25 a.m. He said no one was seriously injured.
Janzen said the people who crossed are now with the CBSA.
Emerson emerg responders who met asylum seekers Saturday AM tell CTV News 16 people who crossed are from Djibouti. 5 from Somalia. #ctvwpg— Beth Macdonell (@BethCTV) February 12, 2017
Ernie and Linda Neufeld were having coffee in their garage Saturday morning in Emerson when they heard cheerful voices outside.
"I assumed it was the locals walking and I all of a sudden it was too loud and it was children and it wasn't English," said Linda Neufeld.
Ernie went outside to look down the street and saw more than a dozen people, including a young family.
"There were some with smaller children walking and some were being carried, so it's real hard to do a head count in the dark, ‘cause you’re not sure whether the note bag has a baby in it or it's a note bag," he said.
Concerned, Ernie went out and followed the footprints to make sure no one was left behind, while another man on his street let the group warm up inside.
After the asylum seekers got warm, they were brought to the Canada Border Services Agency to be processed.
The Manitoba Interfaith Immigration Council sent three vans to pick people up and bring them back to Winnipeg.
The first group arrived at Welcome Place Saturday afternoon. A second group was processed by CBSA officials.
Reeve Greg Janzen said the border-crossers were from Somalia.
The Neufelds said it's turning into a situation that that may require more resources in the community.
Last weekend RCMP said 22 asylum seekers crossed the border.
"They know what they're doing. They have cell phones. They have GPS. They know exactly. Now that the flood gate, they are going to keep crawling through," said Ernie.
The RCMP says it works closely with Canadian and U.S. officials and can respond to the evolving environment encountered at the border.
Manitoba is not the only province seeing an increase in what RCMP call illegal migration. Police said British Columbia has seen more people crossing its border. The Mounties said the largest increase is being seen in Quebec.