A couple who claimed to be from Turkey struggles to get their baby and baby carriage across the US/Canada border February 27, 2017, in Champlain, New York. There continues to be an increasing number of people crossing the US border into Canada illegally.
DON EMMERT—AFP/Getty Images
By Lucinda Shen
March 10, 2017

Since President Donald Trump’s surprise election, some stateless U.S. migrants are choosing arrest by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police over risking deportation in America.

Situations like this will become increasingly common, says Canadian immigration lawyer Richard Kurland in an interview with CBC News Thursday. And thousands will be seeking refugee status, he said.

According to NPR, the Mounties can only detain those illegally crossing the border for 24 hours. After that, the migrant is either released or brought before a judge. Once Canadian officials are sure the individual isn’t a threat to national security, they’ll help the migrant start the immigration process.

“In the short run we can expect to see thousands of new cases streaming over the Canadian border and there’s nothing we can do about it,” Kurland told the CBC. “They see and hear President Trump — they know what’s coming. To save themselves, they will not go home — they will come to Canada to either buy time or buy a solution.

But he also added that gaining refugee status in Canada may not be as simple as it seems.

“It’s a very difficult wall to mount … you have to prove genuine fear of persecution from the government in the United States,” he said to CBC.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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