The site has become a popular crossing spot in recent months, with hundreds of people a day making the easy trip over a shallow ditch that connects both countries.
Patrick Lefort, a spokesperson for the Canada Border Services Agency, said there are now 700 people waiting to be processed who have crossed at Roxham Road. Typically, the outflow is reported as resulting from "fear" of the climate created for illegals in the United States.
Last week, Quebec's immigration minister, Kathleen Weil, told reporters that 150 people were seeking asylum each day, up from 50 a day in the first half of July, prompting the head of the union representing Canada's border agents to call the influx "a national crisis".
Canadian soldiers on Wednesday began setting up tents equipped with lighting and heating in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, a municipality in Quebec, to accommodate up to 500 people, many of them Haitian asylum seekers in United States who fear losing their deportation protections under the Trump administration.
Authorities have responded by opening additional welcome centres.
Numerous arrivals are being housed in Montreal at the Olympic Stadium. But they had no idea how long this situation would continue. A spokesperson for the Canada Border Services Agency told CBC-Radio Canada there are now 700 people waiting to be processed, and although the wait time is two or three days, the asylum seekers do not have access to beds. The delays mean migrants have been forced to wait in an area with no beds, just benches and chairs.
"We're going to set up lighting as well, and heating and we're going to have flooring installed". Military personnel will not participate in security matters, the armed forces said, and most of the soldiers will return to their home bases once the camp is built. A few will stay on to maintain equipment. In May, the Trump administration threatened to pull the plug on a longstanding humanitarian program, potentially exposing as many as 58,000 Haitians to deportation.
Haitians in particular may be agitated because the "temporary protective status" (TPS) many of them were granted in the aftermath of that country's devastating 2011 quake may be coming to an end.
In May, then-DHS Secretary John Kelly announced TPS for Haitians would be extended one more time, until January 2018, with a strong indication that this will be the final extension. According to officials, the refugee camp will house the refugees crossing the USA border. The migrants hope is to gain legal status through the relatively forgiving Canadian asylum laws.