News / Canada

5,712 asylum seekers crossed Canada-U.S. border in August

New statistics from the federal government show that 5,712 asylum seekers snuck across the Canada-United States border last month.

An asylum seeker, claiming to be from Eritrea, is questioned by an RCMP officer as he crosses the border into Canada from the United States.

THE CANADIAN PRESS

An asylum seeker, claiming to be from Eritrea, is questioned by an RCMP officer as he crosses the border into Canada from the United States.

MONTREAL—There was a more than 80 per cent increase in the number of migrants crossing the United States border into Canada from July to the month of August, new government figures show.

The statistics, which show the number of people intercepted by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police while crossing into Canada at holes in the border rather than at official ports of entry, were released Tuesday.

They showed that the number of border crossers jumped from 3,134 in the month of July to 5,712 in August, an increase of about 82 per cent.

The vast majority of the asylum seekers have elected to cross at the New York-Quebec portion of the border. There, 5,530 people crossed into Canada in August, compared to 102 in British Columbia and 80 in Manitoba. No other RCMP interceptions occurred in other Canadian provinces.

So far this year, 13,211 people have crossed into Canada illegally from the U.S.—the vast majority doing so in an attempt to get around the Safe Third Country Agreement, which forces refugee claimants to file their asylum request in the first country in which they land.

If an asylum seeker seeks entry to Canada at an official border crossing they will be returned to the U.S. But by sneaking across the border and being arrested by the RCMP once they are on Canadian soil, they are permitted to make their refugee claim here.

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