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Refugee who lost fingers to frostbite pleads with MPs not to pass new asylum law


OTTAWA — A man from Ghana who lost all his fingers to frostbite after crossing irregularly into Manitoba — and whose story focused attention on the border — is pleading with MPs not to pass new refugee rules in the government’s budget bill.

Seidu Mohammed tells MPs on the finance committee that the rules, if passed, would not help asylum seekers and may put them in more danger.

Mohammed crossed into Manitoba in December 2016 through a snow-covered field, avoiding official border checkpoints to make an ultimately successful refugee claim in Canada after being rejected for asylum in the United States.

The Liberals have tabled changes to the refugee law to prevent asylum-seekers from making refugee claims in Canada if they have made similar claims in certain countries, including the United States.

Mohammed says if these rules applied to him, he would have been sent back to the United States, where he would have been locked up.

He says he would have likely been deported back to Ghana, likely to face torture or death if the proposed new refugee law were in place when he arrived in Canada.

The Canadian Press

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