Front Burner

Juarez to Roxham Road: A perilous migration

A record number of people entered Canada at Roxham Road in Quebec last year in search of asylum. In this episode, we look at the US-Mexico border to see what the situation there can tell us about migrants with their sights on Canada.
A large cluster of people line up in front of a tall metal gate, as guards with guns patrol the area.
A scene at Gate 40, on Juarez side of the U.S.-Mexico border. Migrants rushed to the gate the day after they heard a rumour buses were on the other side, ready to people to Canada. ( Lyza Sale/CBC)

Last year, about 39,000 people entered Canada at Roxham Road, an irregular border crossing in Quebec, in search of asylum. It was a record number — and so far this year, the upward trend is continuing. The steady flow of migrants entering Canada at Roxham Road has become a political issue, but how to handle the stream of people seeking asylum at the border is an open question.

On this episode, Paul Hunter, a senior correspondent with CBC News, takes us to the US-Mexico border in Juarez to see what we can learn from migrants there about the issue at America's northern border and Roxham Road.


In this episode we discuss a video shown to senior correspondent Paul Hunter by a Venezuelan migrant couple Nelson Ramirez, and his wife, Yescee Urbina at an aid office in Juarez, Mexico. The video depicts a crocodile swimming with a human leg in its mouth. 

We reported that the video was filmed during the couple's journey through the Panamanian jungle. However, the video shown to CBC News was filmed a few years ago. Ramirez showed the video to convey the desperation and danger that migrants from Central and South America experience trying to seek asylum further north.

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