There has been a sharp rise in refugees crossing the US border to enter Canada, sparking concerns that the US travel ban is encouraging people to risk their lives in order to find safety.

Groups of refugees from countries such as Somalia, Ethiopia and Ghana have crossed into the town of Emerson-Franklin in Canada's Manitoba state from Minneapolis, with agencies taking a record 10 immigration applications a day, said the Guardian.

Those crossing the border are risking freezing conditions to reach the country in the search for refuge, encountering temperatures as low as -12C.

Although some refugees pay to get a taxi the entire way across the border, others take a bus from Minneapolis to Grand Forks, a town in North Dakota, and from there hire a cab to drive them the last 80 or so miles to the border, said a CBC report.

According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, another 22 people had walked across the border and into Canada over the previous weekend.

President Trump's measures to block further immigration into the US have caused controversy. The executive order, in which President attempted to block refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries, including Syrian refugees indefinitely, sparked global protests.

After the ban was blocked by a federal appeals court, President Trump used to Twitter to announce that he's contemplating battling the travel ban's case in the US Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau committed to accepting 40,000 refugees from war-torn countries.

In a tweet, which appeared to be in response to Trump's controversial executive order, the Trudeau said: "To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength. #WelcometoCanada."

In 2016, refugee applications in Canada shot up 63% from 2015, with more than 7,000 applying to enter the country, according to the Canada Border Services Agency.

Another 2,000 are said to have entered the country illegally during that time, according to figures from Reuters.