New Brunswick spike saw al­most two dozen refugee claimants in 2016

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD - KEVIN BIS­SETT

FRED­ER­IC­TON — The num­ber of refugee claimants cross­ing into New Brunswick from the United States saw a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease last year.

Ac­cord­ing to fig­ures re­leased by the Cana­dian Bor­der Ser­vices Agency, there were 23 refugee claimants at the bor­der in 2016 — more than the pre­vi­ous four years com­bined.

The num­bers in­clude those seek­ing asy­lum at of­fi­cial points of en­try, and those stopped by po­lice af­ter cross­ing in re­mote lo­ca­tions.

There were seven refugee claimants in each year be­tween 2011 and 2013, four in 2014 and only two in 2015.

Ac­cord­ing to the bor­der agency, there was one refugee claimant at the New Brunswick bor­der last month.

A grow­ing num­ber of peo­ple are choos­ing to walk across the bor­der into Canada to claim refugee sta­tus, in­clud­ing dozens who have been ar­rested in the Emer­son area of Man­i­toba in re­cent weeks. Other prov­inces in­clud­ing Que­bec have also seen a large rise in the num­ber of refugee claimants who en­ter the province il­le­gally.

The tac­tic is a way to avoid the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Coun­try Agree­ment, which pre­vents most peo­ple who have been liv­ing in the United States from mak­ing a refugee claim at an of­fi­cial bor­der cross­ing on the premise that they are al­ready some­where safe.

This has prompted some peo­ple to cross else­where in or­der to make their claims from within Canada, where au­thor­i­ties gen­er­ally grant them a hear­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.