Edmonton Somali community prepares for potential refugees
'They may be in a situation where they may lose their lives, lose part of their bodies.'
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The Somali Canadian Cultural Society of Edmonton is taking steps to prepare for any potential refugees fleeing the United States.
Fear of political instability in the United States is likely to push more refugees to seek asylum in Canada by fleeing across the porous border in the prairies, according to Jibril Ibrahim, the President of the Society.
Ibrahim told Metro President-Elect Donald Trump’s statements calling Somali migrants a “disaster” for Minneapolis will see many more become desperate to get to Canada.
On December 24, Seidu Mohammed, 24, from Ghana, crossed the border on foot near Emerson, Manitoba, with another man from Ghana.
Doctors have told Mohammed that his fingers, and possibly his hands, will need to be amputated due to severe frostbite.
Ibrahim said his organization is taking steps to ensure that any potential refugees entering Alberta and finding their way to Edmonton will be properly cared for.
“There is concern. Most of those people that are crossing into Canada are originally coming from a hot climate [and] they don’t realize they are not dressed properly. They may be in a situation where they may lose their lives, lose part of their bodies,” Ibrahim said.
He said the Somali Cultural Society has been actively following reports since 32-year-old Somalian, Yahya Samata, swam down the Red River into Canada to make a refugee claim in August.