America’s neighbors to the north have seen an increased instance of migrants that crossed the United States southern border that have made it to Canada to ask for asylum at the United States-Canada border.
According to a report by The Guardian, the number of South and Central American asylum seekers has seen a sharp uptick from pre-COVID requests during the Trump administration.
“In December, the number of asylum seekers entering Canada outside formal land border crossings reached its highest point since August 2017, government statistics show,” the Guardian reported.
According to the publication, there is a growing caseload of asylum seekers, all of whom are passing at non-official border crossings, which prevents the country from rejecting migrants due to the safe third nation asylum act.
“It seems to me the ministry has been caught off guard,” said Montreal lawyer Pierre-Luc Bouchard, who has 70 refugee cases after two years with almost zero new clients. “They are completely confused.”
December of 2021 saw 2,811 asylum seekers crossing the border outside of formal land ports of entry, according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
January and February they intercepted 2,382 and 2,164, respectively which is a stark comparison to 888 and 808 in January and February of 2019.
The increase of migrants at the border has lengthened the weight time for eligibility hearings and left some waiting months before Canadian social assistance before they can get work permits, according to an attorney.
A spokesperson for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, the increase was expected and the agency is finding ways to speed up the application process.