Bor­der crossers get spe­cial staffing

Calgary Sun - - NEWS - STEPhaNiE lEviTz The Cana­dian Press

OT­TAWA — The prospect of grow­ing camps of mi­grants on the Que­bec-New York bor­der prompted Canada’s Im­mi­gra­tion and Refugee Board to ex­clu­sively ded­i­cate 20 of its mem­bers Fri­day to the han­dling of their sud­den bar­rage of asy­lum claims.

The agency had been watch­ing care­fully the flow of wouldbe refugees into the prov­ince, but it was a sud­den re­cent spike in ar­rivals that prompted more ag­gres­sive ac­tion, said Shereen Ben­zvy Miller, the head of the refugee pro­tec­tion di­vi­sion.

“We want to an­tic­i­pate and make sure if win­ter is com­ing, that there isn’t a tent city of peo­ple await­ing de­ter­mi­na­tion in Fe­bru­ary,” Ben­zvy Miller said Fri­day.

Be­tween Aug. 1 and Aug. 7 alone, 1,798 peo­ple showed up at an un­of­fi­cial cross­ing from the U.S. into Que­bec. By com­par­i­son, only 2,920 claims were filed in Que­bec in all of 2015.

“Pro­jec­tions that we are given don’t look like it is go­ing to slow down any time soon.”

The IRB has no con­trol over how long peo­ple will be in tem­po­rary ac­com­mo­da­tion on the bor­der. The Canada Bor­der Ser­vices Agency has said the pace of ar­rivals means that ini­tial screen­ing process is tak­ing far longer than normal.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.