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Canada cracks down on asylum seekers crossing US-Canadian border

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Canada said on Tuesday it planned to spend an additional C$1.2 billion ($902 million) over five years to stem the flow of irregular migrants from the United States, which has become a political threat to the Liberal government ahead of an October election.

Some 57,000 asylum seekers from Nigeria, El Salvador, Honduras and other nations crossed the U.S. border into Canada last year, in some cases citing a fear of persecution by the government of U.S. Donald Trump.

They are allowed to stay until their cases have been heard. Given Canada’s clogged judicial system, that could take years.

Canada began prioritizing the deportation of asylum seekers who walked across the border last year, in a bid to tackle the politically sensitive issue.

In the annual budget, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Ottawa would implement a comprehensive border enforcement strategy “to detect and intercept individuals who cross Canadian borders irregularly and who try to exploit Canada’s immigration system.”

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Most arrive in the populous provinces of Ontario and Quebec, which have spent hundreds of millions of dollars taking care of the newcomers. Critics complain that Ottawa is not doing enough to deter the migrants and Liberals concede the issue is hitting the party’s popularity.

According to the budget, the government will start spending the C$1.2 billion in the 2019-20 fiscal year to strengthen the border and speed up the asylum process. Ottawa will also try to “better manage, discourage and prevent irregular migration,” the budget text said.

Canadian officials have over the past two years visited Nigeria, as well as various ethnic communities in the United States, to try to persuade would-be migrants to stay put.

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The officials have said that although the people driving the migrant surge claim that everyone who crosses the border is allowed to stay, most are sent back once their cases have been handled.

Reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa; editing by Denny Thomas and Tom Brown


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Republican analyst says Trump is ‘threatened by’ being challenged by women: ‘It hurts his ego’

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According to one Republican commentator, President Donald Trump's decision to lash out at four Congresswomen of color stems from his inability to handle being challenged by women.

In a segment with MSNBC host Ali Velshi, Rina Shah, who runs Republican Women for Progress, said that she's been the target of racist attacks from Trump supporters ever since she announced she wouldn't support him.

"I believe that what this president is doing is fanning the flames," she said. "He cannot denounce white supremacy, white nationalism. This is a moment in which he could have kept his mouth shut. You know, this tit-for-tat with [Speaker Nancy] Pelosi (D-CA) and 'The Squad,' he didn’t need to engage in it. If I was advising the president, if I were one of his advisers, I would have said stay out of it. But he doesn't listen to anyone around him."

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Mitt Romney blames democratic women for Trump’s racism: Their views ‘are not consistent with my experience’

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Little more than six months ago Senator-elect Mitt Romney (R-UT) promised voters he would "speak out" against President Donald Trump's racism. On Monday, Senator Mitt Romney blamed the targets of President Donald Trump's two-day racism fest for the President's own racism.

"I will speak out against significant statements or actions," by President Trump, "that are divisive, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, dishonest or destructive to democratic institutions," Romney said in a New Year's Day 2019 Washington Post op-ed.

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Facebook needs ‘very high standard’ for Libra coin: Mnuchin

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Facebook will need to meet "a very high standard" before it moves ahead with its planned digital currency Libra, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Monday.

Mnuchin said US regulators have already expressed concerns to Facebook about the plan for a global cryptocurrency, noting that these kinds of virtual coins have in the past been associated with money laundering and illicit activities.

"Whether they're banks or non-banks, they're under the same regulatory environment," Mnuchin told reporters at the White House, adding that Facebook "will have to have a very high standard before they have access to the financial system."

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