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Canada Irregular Border Crosser Numbers Rises Above 2018 Levels

The number of irregular border crosser from the United States to Canada intercepted by RCMP officers increased above 2018 levels in June and July, federal government latest figures show.

After being slowed down in 2018 to January of 2019 through May, June 2019 saw an increase of 1,567 people intercepted by border officers looking for refugee immigration status, in contrast to 1,263 in June 2018.

The trend lingered on in July when 1,874 arrests were made in 2019, in contrast to 1,634 in 2018.

It is a trend that has raised serious concern to Canada’s federal government, given immigration and asylum is a crucial topic with the general election drawing close in October.

Irregular Border Crosser
Source: Federal government

Overall figures for 2019 remain considerably smaller than what they were at this point of 2018.

To the close of July, 8,581 migrants have been intercepted at irregular border areas by border officers, in contrast to 12,378 by the close of July 2018.

The number of irregular border crosser began it upward trend after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened the Temporary Protected Status of many immigrants in America in 2017.

Canada’s federal government sought to adjust the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to try and stop the influx of refugees or asylum seekers who comes from the United States at irregular border points.

The adjustments, part of Bill C-97 that passed in June 2019, means refugees or asylum seekers who had initially made a refugee claim in another country such as the U.S could not then make another claim in Canada.

It, therefore, means that refugees who come to Canada having initially made a refugee claim in the U.S., are not qualified to seek asylum in Canada.

Safe Third Country Agreement

This effort comes following attempts by Canada’s federal government to adjust the Safe Third Country Agreement in place between Canada and the United States.

The bilateral agreement means that a person or immigrant has to claim refugee status in the first ‘safe’ country at which they enter.

It means that asylum seekers coming to the United States are not allowed to cross the border into Canada to claim refugee status. If they try to cross into Canada from the United States at recognized border points, they are turned away.

They are , however, allowed to claim refugee status if they have already crossed into Canada, which is why more than 40,000 crossed at the irregular border areas in 2017 and 2018 as they try to run from Donald Trump’s U.S. immigration threats.

The huge number of irregular border crossers came into Quebec, though they are then distributed across Canada provinces while they await Immigration and Refugee Board hearings.

In 2019, for instance, 8,364 out of 8,581 border crossers have arrived into the French-speaking province.

It was declared in August that the Quebec government will receive $250 million from the federal government to cover the costs of dealing with the influx of asylum seekers.