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Officials in Montreal have opened a new temporary shelter for asylum seekers in a building that once housed a convent, and said on Monday the city has received a demand to open even more spaces for migrants crossing the Canadian border.
Mayor Denis Coderre said the shelter, which opened Sunday evening and can accommodate about 300 people, is well organized and suitably equipped.
He pointed out that between 250 and 300 people are arriving daily at the Canadian border, up from 50 a day in the first half of July.
While hundreds of asylum seekers — many from Haiti — are already being housed at Montreal's Olympic Stadium, city councillor Harout Chitilian told reporters the city is being asked to do more.
"A demand has been made to open other locations," he said. "We cannot confirm right now what that space will be, its capacity, or where it will be. But we have received a request to open another space."
In the United States, the Trump administration is considering ending a program that granted Haitians so-called "temporary protected status" following the massive earthquake that struck their homeland in 2010.
Quebec Immigration Minister Kathleen Weil said in a news release on Monday that 2,388 asylum seekers are currently being housed temporarily in Montreal.
"Of this number, a little more than 700 people are staying in the Olympic stadium waiting for access to permanent lodging," she said.