32,000 Asylum Seekers Enter Canada in 2017

There were 32,000 asylum seekers who have arrived in Canada since the beginning of 2017. A stark increase from the 24,000 in 2016.


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Refugee Border
RCMP officers help a family of asylum claimants as they cross the border into Canada from the United States, Monday, Feb. 20, 2017, near Hemmingford, Quebec. A growing number of people have been walking across the border into Canada to claim refugee status. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)

32,000 asylum seekers entered, 6,000 work permits awarded, 9 deported

This spike is likely caused the 13,211 who entered illegally, mostly through the Quebec border.

The numbers were revealed as the House of Commons public safety committee received a briefing “on the issue of asylum seekers irregularly entering Canada from the United States” on Thursday.

Work Permits

There has been around 5,600 awarded temporary health coverage, and another 6,000 who have received expedited work permits.

montreal
Massive lineups where seen at Montreal’s labor and employment office earlier this year as work permit applications opened.

While the government is touting this numbers as successes, critics say the resources are being diverted away from the main issue.

Opposition Response

“Instead of actually addressing the illegal border crossing situation, Prime Minister Trudeau has been […] diverting resources away from legitimate refugees who are fleeing persecution and violence,” Tory MP Michelle Rempel said in a release.

Costs & Risks

One document released by the committee even expressed a fear that immigration workers, border agents and RCMP members would “burnout” and that to deal with the influx, the government would quickly need to invest heavily.

Officials also expressed concerns that Canada’s refugee system would be pushed past its limits.

Immigration officials can only process 14,500 asylum seekers a year with available resources, but we are likely to hit over 40,000 seekers during the 2016-2017 period.


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Yanky Pollak

Yanky Pollak is a young energetic activist, with a strong voice for the community. He has been involved in multiple political campaigns and has worked very closely with many political figures. He works as a freelance photographer.