The number of Turks has jumped at Roxham Road for 2 years

Turkish numbers have jumped at Roxham Road for 2 years


The number of refugees from Turkey who have come through Roxham Road has exploded in recent years. 

Their number has jumped by 80&nbsp ;arrivals in 2020 to more than 5,500 in 2022, an increase that surprises even the Turkish community of Montreal. 

After Haitians, Turks are even the second largest group who entered illegally through the famous Roxham road. 

According to our information, they all make about the same journey: they arrive by plane in Mexico from Turkey, cross the American border at El Paso in Texas, then date back to Quebec. 

Kurdish minority

They are mostly Kurds, an ethnic minority that faces widespread discrimination in Turkey, where their access to employment is difficult. 

“Being Kurdish in Turkey is very problematic, because there is state violence and oppression against us,” says Veysi (fictitious name ), whom we met at the Montreal Turkish Community Center.  

“The oppression, he continues, has increased in recent years and many Kurds have left for foreign countries.” 

Sudden influx

Among the already established Turks of Montreal, this sudden influx of refugees is surprising.

The number of Turks has jumped at Roxham Road for 2 years

Ömer F. Özen
Editor of the Our Anatolia newspaper

“It's very recent and it's amazing, because there are so many of them. They are mostly Kurds,” says Ömer F. Özen, editor of the community newspaper Our Anatolia

In his view, Canada's strengths are very attractive for them. 

“Canada provides shelter and social welfare [to refugees]; this is what they heard. » 

« But there is someone who showed the way, he continues; the word has passed. » 

The Turkish media had something to do with it (see other text). 

Veysi explains that this is how he learned how to come to Canada . 

“There is a lot in the Turkish media about how migrants from our country go to Mexico to go to the United States and then to Canada,” he says. 


At the Yves-Thériault francization center, another young man of Kurdish origin explains what made him decide to leave his country. He replied in Turkish by typing it into his cell phone: “ ülkemizde ayrımcılık ”. 

It means in English ” discrimination in our country [for the Kurds] ” . 

Turkish media takes an interest in the phenomenon

Turkish media presents Canada as a destination where migrants are welcomed with open arms.  

“Dream of a new life” is the headline, translated from Turkish, that caps the article in Istanbul's mass-circulation newspaper, Milliyet (La Nation), about refugee claimants who arrived in Canada illegally.  

Turkish media reports on the journey of asylum seekers to Canada.

“From the moment you set foot in Canada, you are under the protection of the Canadian government,” said 28-year-old Agri Yk in the report published last April. < /p>

The latter is eager to obtain his permanent residence in Canada:  After obtaining the right to reside, you have the same rights as everyone here, except to vote and to be elected. 

“Most importantly,” he says, “you get what you pay for. I work three days a week and earn $450 a month. » 

Social Assistance

For his part, Hasan K., who is 24 years old, says in the article that he is currently not working, but that “the [Canadian] government is giving aid of $750   ”. 

” I live on [this money],” he says. 

This sum of $750 is the monthly amount assistance paid to asylum seekers in Quebec. 

Even if Roxham Road is not directly named in the Milliyet article, we understand that the two men used it to enter Canada illegally. 

The two first arrived in Mexico from Turkey, then crossed into the United States to go up to New York State. 

They then took a taxi to the Canadian border, which is typical of the route taken to get to Roxham Road.

Canada is popular for another reason. Since 2018, Turkish nationals who apply for refugee status in Canada have benefited from preferential treatment of their file, because of their already high rate of acceptance as refugees. 

According to the figures from the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, since 2018, 96% of Turkish nationals who have applied for asylum have been accepted. 

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