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. A face peered in through the window, flanked in the darkness by others.
Outside were 16 asylum seekers, arriving at one of the first houses they saw after crossing a lightly monitored border between Canada and the United States.
“They banged pretty hard, then ‘ring ring ring’ the doorbell,” said French, a mother of two young girls. “It was scary. That really woke me up.”
The town has become the front line of an emerging political crisis that is testing Canada’s will to welcome asylum seekers.