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our director of operations, Kinan Swaid, contributes to  Radio-Canada article

"À Montréal, la rue guette de nombreux migrant"
November 8, 2023

Nearly 100,000 asylum seekers

Between January and September 2023, Canada received 96,450 asylum applications, 34,000 more than at the same time last year. According to Kinan Swaid, Director of Operations at the Refugee Centre, this historic influx has put a strain on reception infrastructures. "This is the largest number of asylum seekers in Canadian history," says Swaid. "This number has various effects on the infrastructure and reception system we have in Quebec. And. we can talk directly about the problem of homelessness for new arrivals who can't find housing."

Read the Full Article Here
Statement from the NDp

NDP reacts to government's decision related to the Safe Third Country Agreement
March 25, 2023

NDP Critic for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Jenny Kwan issued the following statement on the expansion of the Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) to the entire Canada-US border, following discussions with President Biden

Quoted in the statement, Abdulla Daoud, Executive Director of The Refugee Centre explained: “We're forcing asylum seekers to go onto terrain that's very dangerous. We've already established that these are legitimate claims and that what they're going through is very unfortunate. In order to regulate the matter and ensure that the government and community organizations can service them correctly we need to suspend it [the STCA]”.

Read the Full Statement Here

US and Canada reach deal to reject asylum seekers
March 24, 2023

The US and Canada have reached a deal to reject asylum seekers at unofficial border crossings, officials say.

The deal is "not going to stop people", Abdulla Daoud, executive director at The Refugee Centre in Montreal, told the BBC on Friday, adding he is concerned it could "incentivize human smuggling". Speaking about the new refugee program, he said: "The numbers are too low. We had 40,000 cross just in the past year - 15,000 is a low number and just from one part of the world, the western hemisphere."

Read the Full Article Here
The new york times

Migration Tops Agenda as Biden Visits Canada
March 23, 2023

As migration has swelled at Canada’s border, the country is seeking a renegotiation of an agreement with the United States that binds it to accept asylum seekers at unofficial crossing points.

Hundreds of the migrants who flow through Roxham Road end up in the halls of the Refugee Center, a legal clinic in Montreal that  has had to turn people away, said Abdulla Daoud, the clinic’s executive director.

Mr. Daoud said the influx of migrants at Roxham Road could be reduced if the agreement were changed to allow migrants from specific countries to come into Canada at regular border areas without fear that they will be tossed back to the United States.

Read the Full Article Here
the world

Biden to visit Canada for first time since becoming president
March 22, 2023

President Joe Biden is set to meet with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this week. This trip is Biden's first visit to the US's northern neighbor since becoming President. The World's Bianca Hillier looks at previous trips of this kind and what Biden and Trudeau will discuss.

Listen to Abdulla Daoud speak to The World radio about this visit and his recommendations for these world leaders.

Listen Here

Trudeau-Biden talks to tackle asylum seekers surge at migration hotspot
March 22, 2023

A rural road on the border of New York and Quebec has seen nearly 40,000 people crossing into Canada there last year.

“Asylum seekers on our borders is not something that Canada typically deals with,” said Abdulla Daoud, executive director of the Refugee Centre in Montreal. “This is in many ways a new issue. And while there’s been an uptick, there’s no denying that, we’ve seen that Canada’s immigration infrastructure can handle an increase in population – but the asylum system wasn’t ever built to accommodate this sort of issue.”

Most of the asylum seekers are fleeing conflict, poverty and political repression in Latin America, but others have arrived from as far as Afghanistan, Yemen and Turkey.

Read the Full Article Here

Why the US northern border is experiencing record migration
March 13, 2023

A vast majority of the migrants assisted by his organization crossed at Roxham, according to Daoud. Canada’s due process and attainable work authorization are convincing some waiting in that United States to consider his country, he said.

Prior to 2022, Daoud said, asylum-seekers in Canada would often receive a Refugee Protection Claimant Document, or RPCD, soon after arriving in the country. The critical document not only serves as identification for asylum seekers, but it also allows them to apply for certain provincial benefits and a coveted work authorization while their asylum cases are reviewed.

Now, because of a backlog, the best most may get upon arrival is the appointment to receive an RPCD. “We’re seeing eight months, one year, a year and a half, two years. Some of them get their appointment pushed up,” said Daoud. “Some of them have to wait and that’s becoming a problem.”

Read the Full Article Here
BNN Bloomberg:

Rush of Asylum Seekers Has Quebec Premier Urging Biden to Act
March 2, 2023

The leader of a Canadian province that has seen thousands of asylum seekers crossing from the US is calling on the Biden administration to rewrite a pact between the nations to curb the flow, saying good relations hinge on solving the problem.

Refugee advocates say the current surge stems partly from the end of Covid rules that severely limited the ability of immigrants to seek asylum. When those restrictions were lifted in late 2021, migrants who would have headed to Canada earlier then resumed their journeys.

“Everybody for the past two years who were stuck in a place trying to maneuver are now coming,” said Abdulla Daoud, who heads a group that helps newcomers settle in Montreal. He added that many of the recent arrivals are Latin American, primarily from Venezuela.

Read the Full Article Here

Roxham Road becomes asylum-seeker flashpoint for Canada
February 22, 2023

The influx [of asylum seekers] has prompted Quebec Premier Francois Legault to ask Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government to resettle refugee claimants in other provinces and to issue work permits more swiftly as the province's "capacity to take care of the asylum-seekers is now largely exceeded."

Abdulla Daoud, executive director of The Refugee Centre in Montreal, said bureaucratic delay is the real problem with the asylum-seeker influx. "If we were to move them to any other province, we're not really solving anything," said Daoud, adding that community organizations will still be overwhelmed because asylum-seekers lack the documents needed to work and access some government services. Daoud said his organization is seeing many recent migrants coming from Latin America, many saying they are fleeing persecution.

Read the Full Article Here

Montreal refugee centres need more winter clothing donations to help asylum seekers
Ferbuary 7, 2023

Providing legal aid is their main service. But after Fritznel Richard, an asylum seeker from Haiti, was found dead of hypothermia at Roxham Road last month, the Refugee Centre wanted to do its part to help avoid similar tragedies in the future.

“Winter clothing is tough to go by. We fill up and go out of stock almost on a daily basis. So, we’re seeing that a lot of clients are coming in, don’t even have winter boots, don’t have gloves, don’t have scarves. Their ears are bloodshot red. They have no hats on. So, it’s important that we at least meet some of the basic necessities and demands of our clients.”

Read the Full Article Here
CBC News:

Advocates say migrants must be welcomed by Quebec, not sent to other provinces
February 7, 2023

Migrants crossing from New York into Quebec at Roxham Road should not be seen as a burden, according to the executive director of a Montreal-based non-profit organization that offers support to refugee claimants.

Legault says in the letter that Quebec's resources are stretched thin and that the province simply has no space left to care for undocumented migrants. But Abdulla Daoud, the executive director at the Refugee Centre in Montreal, says the problem isn't the volume of migrants but instead the delay in processing applications at the federal level.

The 20-year-old agreement recognizes both countries as safe for migrants and states that refugee claimants are required to request asylum in the first country they arrive in. That means Canadian border officials would send back to the U.S. any would-be refugee claimants arriving at an official border crossing from the U.S. into Canada.

Read the Full Article Here
Concordia university:

The Concordia Arts in Health Centre launches a pilot project bringing art therapy to newcomers
April 27, 2022

The collaborative initiative provides immigrants and refugees with affirmative and culturally relevant services

The Concordia Arts in Health Centre (CAiHC) has launched its first pilot project in collaboration with the Refugee Centre, Montreal Therapy Centre (MTC) and Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA). Jude Ibrahim, a Concordia MA in art therapy student, is the lead behind the project, which she initiated as part of her practicum.

Read the Full Article Here
Global News:

More asylum-seekers crossing into Canada after ban lifted, stats show
April 25, 2022

Snowy northern winters tend to see a drop in asylum-seekers crossing from the United States into Canada at Roxham Road, Quebec. Not this past winter.

The increase follows the lifting of a pandemic-era order in December. Since March 2020, border police had refused entry to all asylum-seekers in order to curb the spread of COVID-19. “It seems to me the ministry has been caught off guard,” said Montreal lawyer Pierre-Luc Bouchard, who has 70 refugee cases after two years with almost zero new clients. “They are completely confused.”

Read the Full Article Here
Atlantic Canada looking to attract refugees to smaller towns
April 19, 2022

A pilot program targeting Atlantic Canada but starting in New Brunswick wants to attract refugees to help save small towns given their aging populations and youth exodus.

To deal with an aging and dwindling population, New Brunswick is working with some NGOs to help attract and retain refugees in a bid to save the future of the province’s smaller towns. Working with the Montreal-based Refugee Centre and the Toronto-based Northpine Foundation, the Refugee Relocation Program is piloting an initiative to relocate refugees from metropolitan cities to smaller towns in the Atlantic provinces, beginning in New Brunswick.

Read the Full Article Here
The Refugee Centre Sues the Quebec Ministry of Immigration
October 18, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: A judicial review has been filed over the mismanagement of the Private Sponsorship Program

The Refugee Centre (TRC) has filed a judicial review against the Quebec Ministry of Immigration, Francisation et Intégration (MIFI) over the mismanagement of the private sponsorship program at the beginning of 2020. TRC made the decision to pursue this after receiving a generic response that their applications for private sponsorship were deemed to be ‘non-receivable.’ The reason for the response was stated as due to the fact that the quota for their category was reached. The lawsuit was filed in Quebec City in October 2020 and the Quebec Superior court heard the merits of the case on October 4 and 5th, 2021. For more details on the case, please contact Abdulla Daoud at or call at (514) 846-0005.

Read the Full Press Release Here
Organizations providing mental health services for refugees are overwhelmed by need
January 28, 2021

For organizations helping refugees adapt to coming to Canada, mental health services are a big need – especially now, when people are arriving during a lockdown.

New refugees are dealing with some extra challenges in addition to this pandemic. Many of the resources refugees use have been suspended, forcing organizations like The Refugee Centre to team up with the Red Cross to fill in the gaps. It's important for both Quebec and Ottawa to increase support for this population, because as much as refugees need Canada, Canada benefits from them too, explained Abdulla Daoud of The Refugee Centre.

Read the Full Article Here
Meeting with Marc Miller (MP of Ville-Marie, Le Sud-Ouest, Île-des-SOEurs)
March 30, 2021

Part of our job is to advocate on behalf of newcomers and refugees in our community. We met with Marc Miller, MP of Ville-Marie, Le Sud-Ouest, Île-des-Sœurs, where we are located, in order to discuss the needs and obstacles that the individuals we work with are facing in Canada and the potential solutions.

The Refugee Centre on CTV News Montreal
January 29, 2021
The Refugee Centre’s Promising Practices
February 20, 2020

‍Featured as part of Pathways to Prosperity's Project: Sharing Settlement Practices that Work.

Read the Full Project Description Here
The Refugee Centre at the House of Commons
February 4, 2019

Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration - Settlement Services Across Canada

Abdulla Daoud, our executive director, speaks at the House of Commons, Canada, to the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, on the topic of Settlement Services Across Canada. He spoke about how we, at The Refugee Centre, are doing our part for newcomers in Montreal.

The Committee is studying settlement services provided for newcomers. The study will focus on the range of services available and best practices in service delivery; criteria for measuring success; gathering information on the supply of and demand for services and their funding; and current partnerships with the provinces, territories and organizations providing services. To see the full video, click here.

The Refugee Centre on Radio Canada International’s Podcast: The Link
June 1, 2018

Special from le Salon de l’Immigration 2018

“Abdulla Daoud, Executive Director [of The Refugee Centre], also spent some time with us talking about his organization and the variety of services offered including something called the DevBloc Social Innovation Catalyst, which helps refugees get involved in the tech sector and even create their own start-ups. They have technology boot camps and endeavor to involve local communities in their efforts.” To read the full article, click here.

The Refugee Centre on Breakfast Television Montreal
November 23, 2017
November 23, 2017

Photo courtesy: Concordia Refugee Centre

Filippo Grandi (centre), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, poses with Concordia Refugee Centre staff and volunteers during a visit in November 2017.

Read the Full News Story Here
The Refugee Centre & UNHCR Canada’s Media Campaign
November 20, 2017

We created this video collaboratively with the UNHCR.  The video was played in movie theatres all across Canada.

Nov 4, 2017

Photo: Jacques Nadeau Le Devoir

Le haut-commissaire des Nations unies, Filippo Grandi, photographié lors de son passage à l’Université Concordia.

Read the Full News Story Here
Nov 3, 2017

Photo courtesy: UNHCR

Team LUNA AI with Abdulla Daoud (right), Executive Director of DevBloc at The Refugee Centre in Montreal. The High Commissioner for Refugees witnesses first-hand how refugees’ experiences help them develop tech solutions to their day-to-day problems.

Read the Full News Story Here