Rise in Illegal Crossings to Canada
Migrants Crossing US-Canadian Border
A recent increase in the number of migrants crossing the Canadian-US border has confirmed that illegal immigrants living in the United States are prepared to take a chance of being arrested in Canada rather than risking being picked up and deported by immigration officials south of the border.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police are reporting a flurry of illegal crossings into Canada in recent months. The majority of the crossings are into Quebec province, with concerned immigrants crossing from remote points in northern New York State such as from Champlain, which has a route that is only 15 feet from the border. Mounties are reporting seeing whole families crossing the border, with many of them willing to take the risk of being arrested in Canada rather than wait to see if US officials will let them stay legally in the United States.
Once an immigrant has been arrested, they can only he held for 24 hours, before they have to be charged or released before a judge, who will order security checks to be done before they are handed over to the Border Service Agency.
Since Trump was elected, there have been around 1,500 prospective immigrants arriving in Quebec. In addition there has been an increase in US citizens applying for asylum, last year Canada had 90 American refugees as opposed to 80 from Mexico according to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) statistics. Canadian lawyers are predicting a further surge of foreign-born US citizens who may have been affected by Trump’s entry ban on seven predominantly Muslim countries. This entry ban applied even to Green Card holders, until the Supreme Court overturned it, but Trump is seeking to appeal this decision. Historically American refugees have not always won their cases in Canada’s refugee courts, as they have taken the view that the US Government can protect it’s citizens and that they can always move to another part of the United States if they feel discriminated against. Last year the bulk of refugee applications came from Nigeria, China and Turkey, as well as 360 Syrian refugees. Canada is currently welcoming refugees and immigrants with open arms but it remains to be seen if US citizens will be deemed as legitimate refugees.