Cabinet set to map out scenarios for dealing with illegal border-crossers

Federal cabinet ministers are set for an in-depth discussion of the practical and political pressures being placed on the Liberal government by a rising number people seeking asylum in Canada.

Hundreds of people have crossed illegally from the U.S. in recent months, a phenomenon some link to the election of U.S. President Donald Trump.

But The Canadian Press has learned that a number of new arrivals had visas issued from the same U.S. consular post in Saudi Arabia, and interviews suggest those people had long intended to head to Canada from the Middle East.

That's one issue complicating table-top exercises security and immigration officials have been running in recent days to figure out what might be ahead at the border.

They are planning for the possibility of the current trickle of illegal arrivals becoming a flood, and the results of that work are being fed into options for a Tuesday cabinet meeting.

In addition, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says the government is examining requests from Manitoba and Quebec for more help to fund immigrant support services.