Anderson Cooper presented a story Monday February 13, 2017 on his AC360 program on CNN about “refugees” crossing the border into Emerson, Manitoba, Canada, from the border (of Minnesota and North Dakota in the US). The link is here.
In one case, both men lost most fingers to frostbite. One of the men said he was gay and from Ghana and would be persecuted if he went back.
Residents of the town say they get doorkknocks from border-crossers escaping the cold. Some don't have cell phones and want to call police so that they can demand asylum. (This does sound like a setup for a trojan horse home invasion incident.)
It was not clear if they were simply undocumented (and had entered somehow through Mexico) or had attempted to apply for asylum legally in the U.S. Generally, they would have needed to apply for asylum within one year of arrival. There was no mention of whether they had sought assistance from attorneys or social groups helping aslyees (the nearest big US city would have been Minneapolis-St. Paul).