MP Report on Illegal Border Crossings

August 18, 2017

Dear Friends,


Illegal border crossings into Canada are increasing as asylum claimants continue to cross into Canada.  The focal point of the crisis has now moved to the Quebec border, near Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle. 


As reported by The Associated Press, the majority of illegal border crossers (roughly 90 percent) come from Haiti.


Recently, the United States took steps to end the longstanding temporary status that was afforded to Haitians following the 2010 Haiti earthquake. This status was generously renewed numerous times, but was not intended to be permanent.


Now that the crisis in Haiti is years behind us, the United States Government considers Haiti to be a safe country to return to.


This follows a similar move by the Government of Canada to end its own moratorium on deportations to Haiti. As such, the claimants are not likely to obtain a different ruling in Canada than they did in the United States. 


Asylum seekers are required to seek protection in the first safe country they arrive in, which includes the United States. No one is fleeing persecution in the United States.  As such, claimants coming from the United States would normally be turned away at the border. 


However, a legal loophole allows those who are already in Canada to make an asylum claim to stay in Canada regardless of where the claimant came from.  This is why we are seeing high numbers of asylum seekers trying to cross into Canada illegally.


The issue of illegal border crossings is a serious problem.  It is very likely that the vast majority of illegal border crossers will be deported, but only after draining resources intended for legitimate refugees and asylum seekers who have followed the law.


This stresses our already over-burdened and backlogged immigration system. The Immigration and Refugee Board is already reporting eleven year wait times for refugee hearings and is experiencing a shortage of immigration judges. 


The crisis of illegal crossings additionally further stretches RCMP resources, as officers must be deployed to arrest illegal crossers.


Large numbers of people crossing at unofficial points also makes it more difficult for Canadian Border Services personnel to maintain the security and integrity of the border.


This is a growing crisis entirely of the Liberal’s own making.


Canada is an open and generous country with a long history of helping those fleeing persecution and violence.


Illegal crossers and bogus claimants threaten the integrity of Canada's immigration system and divert aid from legitimate refugees. 


The Government must take action to address the increasing number of illegal border crossings at Canada’s borders. 


I trust you have found this information of interest.


I wish you all a great weekend.