After fleeing to Montreal from Long Island, Marlise Beauville felt, she said, as if she had reached the Promised Land.
She entered the country last summer without immigration papers, yet received a work permit, a monthly stipend of 600 Canadian dollars, or $480, free health care and free French lessons. The weather has become bone-cold chilly but her Canadian neighbors are warm.
Though it is not clear that she will be able to stay, she is hunkering down, adamant that limbo in Canada is better than returning to Haiti, where she fears that the family of her dead husband will kill her. “I won’t — I can’t — go back to Haiti,” said Ms. Beauville, a caregiver from Anse-à-Veau, Haiti, who was visiting a Haitian community center here the other day.
Ms. Beauville was one of a surge of thousands of Haitian migrants who crossed over the border from the United States to Quebec last summer, spurred by a May announcement by the Trump administration that Haitians could lose their temporary protected status in the United States, granted after the 2010 earthquake that devastated their country.
The migrants were hoping to benefit from a loophole in a United States-Canada treaty that allowed them to make refugee claims in Canada if they did not arrive at legal ports of entry, but crossed the border illegally.
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