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Over 16,000 people nabbed by RCMP between border crossings in 2019

Asylum seekers line up to enter Olympic Stadium Friday, August 4, 2017 near Montreal. New figures from the federal government show 16,503 people were intercepted by the RCMP last year crossing between formal border points, likely to seek asylum in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

OTTAWA — New figures from the federal government show 16,503 people were intercepted by the RCMP last year crossing between formal border points, likely to seek asylum in Canada.

Those numbers are down from 2018, but overall, the number of people filing asylum claims in Canada has risen.

The data from the Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship department shows that in 2019, 63,830 of those claims were filed, up from 55,040 in 2018.

Asylum claims made in Canada have been rising for years, pegged partially on the growing movement of refugee seekers around the world.

But the issue at the border specifically has been linked to the Safe Third Country Agreement with the United States, which governs where and how people moving between the two countries can file for asylum.

The Liberals have repeatedly promised efforts to update the agreement, but briefing notes for the immigration minister prepared in December say there are no formal negotiations with the U.S. underway.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 16, 2020.

 

 

The Canadian Press