Well, well, well! Not only did Fareed Zakaria/GPS (Global Public Square) on the CNN network this past weekend do a big feature on how Canada has taken over what used to be called "The American Dream," the U.S. Government is now actively restricting it's southern border while extending a hearty 'hi ho' to Canadians ...., and extending the time they can stay down south from six months to eight months. (The Mexicans go up to the States for jobs while the Canadians go down south and SPEND MONEY! (Lots of money)
The problem is two fold: First the Mexicans and South Americans are now using the States as a transit corridor to get to Canada, and more and more Americans themselves are moving to Canada now that Trump got elected!
But they're not the only ones folks, people from Africa are on the move as well:
Canada is once again the destination of an UNDERGROUND RAILROAD!"
Many African asylum-seekers who end up in Canada face an arduous, months-long journey through thousands of kilometres of jungle, along back roads and over water in small wooden boats.
Stays in migrant camps along the way often culminate with a lengthy period in a U.S. immigration detention centre.
It's a modern underground railroad with organized networks of smugglers plotting paths through South and Central America to help -- often for hefty fees -- people fleeing Somalia, Ghana, Djibouti and other countries.
Heading to the southern continent makes for a long, dangerous journey on the ground afterward, but it's one of the few feasible starting points.
By bus and on foot, migrants follow a route north into their first big geographical hurdle -- the Darien Gap on the border between Colombia and Panama. It's a dense jungle and has no roads.
Mohammed said he skirted the jungle by going up the coast in a boat. He was crammed into a small wooden craft with several others and covered with a tarp for a seven-hour trip in the darkness.
"The boat is not a safe boat. It's like a wood one with a small (engine) on the back," he recalled recently.
"We are just risking our lives to save (them)."
Mohammed said he spent two days walking through the dense jungle in Panama afterward. Mamood, who left Ghana separately and now shares an apartment in Winnipeg with Mohammed and other recent arrivals, said he spent five days in that jungle.
Such stories are not unusual, said Rico-Martinez.
"There are guides in the jungle and they say, 'OK, give me $20 each' and they cross a section ... in groups of 20, 25. Every time you see a guide, you have to pay."
On the other side of the jungle, the Panamanian government provides a camp with food, shelter and medicine, Rico-Martinez said. Throughout Central American countries, migrants can travel relatively freely and can cover a lot of ground by bus -- if they have money.
Nicaragua is an exception in that it has officially closed its border to migrants from outside the Central America region, Rico-Martinez said, but people are still managing to get in and then head through to Honduras.
Mohammed said he was detained a couple of times while traveling through Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala, but was let go after a week or so. He also remembers having to walk throughout the night when he did not have money for a bus.
Some three months after leaving Ecuador, Mohammed said, he finally arrived at the Mexico-U.S. border south of San Diego to claim asylum. He was promptly put in a detention centre for 10 months.
He said his claim was denied and he moved to New York as the threat of deportation hung over his head.
He took a bus to Minneapolis and a cab to North Dakota, he said, and walked seven hours in the cold to the border community of Emerson-Franklin, Man. He walked into a hotel and slept on the hallway floor until a worker came by and called police.
It was more than two years after his journey started.