Minnesota has a reputation for welcoming refugees and immigrants, including people from the seven majority-Muslim nations — Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen — targeted in President Trump's currently suspended executive order. With the fear of potential deportation looming large in their minds, some Minnesotans who hail from those countries have begun fleeing to Canada, illegally immigrating to a small Manitoba town, Emerson, just across the border to claim refugee status.
In frigid winter weather, the journey is risky, as it must be partially made on foot. Still, said Badal Macalin Mohamed, who is from Somalia, the risk is worth avoiding any chance he might be deported back to a country where militants from the Islamic extremist group al Shabaab killed his father.
A representative of the Manitoba Interfaith Immigration Council, which works with refugees, said her organization is preparing for more arrivals from Minnesota in coming months. Watch a local news report on the phenomenon below. Bonnie Kristian