The next few years will test Canada’s commitment to its current immigration policy. A recent Angus Reid Institute poll found that two-thirds of Canadians call the current flow of asylum seekers at irregular crossing from the U.S. a “crisis.” Nearly half of respondents also said they trust Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer to deal with irregular border crossings more effectively than Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Since Donald Trump was elected as U.S. president, there has been a massive increase in the number of people crossing into Canada through irregular crossings. Government statistics show that over 31,000 irregular border crossings have taken place in the past two years, greatly testing the ability of the country’s immigration system to handle so many new, and unplanned, arrivals in Canada.
The flow of irregular border crossers has also changed since it first started in 2017. Back then, most border crossers were Haitians worried that Trump was going to revoke their special visas allowing them to live in the U.S. after the 2011 Haiti earthquake. Now however, the single largest group crossing the border are Nigerians who first fly to the U.S. and then continue the rest of the journey on foot to Canada. Only 35 per cent of Nigerian refugee claims have been accepted so far, according to Global News.
As the Liberals head into an election year, increasingly on the defensive about their policies towards irregular border crossers, the government will have a few choices on how to approach the remainder of its term. The current policy involves detaining and processing irregular border crossers at the Canadian-American border.
Does the government work towards closing its borders to irregular crossings? Or does it increase federal funding to provinces and municipalities dealing with the brunt of the stress? Let us know in the poll or the comments below!