Jun 14, 2019 – The number of irregular border crossers coming from the U.S. to Canada reached the highest level of 2019 in April, the latest figures show.
As the weather warms, the number making the journey at unrecognized border points is creeping up, although the figures are significantly lower than 2018.
April saw 1,246 interceptions made by RCMP officers, compared to 1,002 in March.
In April 2018, officers intercepted 2,560 irregular border crossers, the highest number of any month in 2018.
Canada’s federal government is seeking to change the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to try and stop the flow of asylum seekers who enter from the U.S. at irregular border points.
The proposed change would mean asylum seekers who had previously made a refugee claim in another country could not then make a claim in Canada.
Ottawa tabled the change in Budget Implementation Bill C-97 on Monday, April 8, 2019.
The bill seeks to amend the “Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to introduce a new ground of ineligibility for refugee protection if a claimant has previously made a claim for refugee protection in another country”.
It means that if asylum seekers who arrive in Canada have previously made a refugee claim in the U.S., they would not be eligible to seek asylum in Canada.
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The move comes following attempts by the federal government to change the Safe Third Country Agreement in place between Canada and the U.S.
The bilateral agreement means that an asylum seeker has to claim refugee status in the first ‘safe’ country at which they arrive.
It means that asylum seekers arriving in the U.S. are not allowed to cross into Canada to claim refugee status. If they try to cross into Canada from the U.S. at recognized border points, they are turned back.
However, they are allowed to claim refugee status if they have already made it to Canada, which is why more than 40,000 crossed at irregular border points in 2017 and 2018 as they try to flee Donald Trump’s U.S. immigration crackdown.
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