The federal and provincial governments are under pressure to deal with the thousands of new asylum seekers arriving in Canada in the past weeks. There has been a growing number of migrants arriving in Quebec seeking asylum. Many of them file claims to the IRB to be granted asylum seeker or refugee status. With thousands of newcomers, the IRB is now forced to utilize all its resources in order to handle numerous claims and deal with the current back log.
In July, 3,000 asylum seekers were intercepted by the RCMP while crossing the border in Quebec. This August, the number has risen to 3,800. This is considered a huge spike from June where 781 asylum seekers were intercepted by the RCMP as they walked across the border. In January, the figure was much lower at 245.
The Government Is Under Pressure
Housing these asylum seekers has become a challenge for the government. According to an announcement that was made by transport minister Marc Garneau, a new shelter is set to be opened in Cornwall where some of the migrants will be housed. There are also refugees being hosted at the Olympic Stadium whereby tents have been pitched to provide temporary housing for the migrants. Some conservatives now claim that providing new housing for the migrants will only encourage more of them to come. Therefore, they argue that the government is not coming up with solutions that will deal with the issue and avoid long term issues.
As a result of the influx of asylum seekers in recent months, the government has made a move to add new staff to the IRB in order to help process the refugee and asylum applications faster. A ministerial task force has also been put in place to help manage the process. Although the government clearly states that there is no crisis, they are taking measures to ensure the situation is properly managed. Conservative MP Michelle Rempel stated that the resources that are being used to deal with the rising number of asylum seekers should have been directed to deal with more urgent cases of refugees.
The government is facing criticism from the opposition for failing to address the rising number of asylum seekers and refugees coming to Canada from the U.S this year. The migrants come from different parts of the world, with countries like Nigeria and Haiti having the highest numbers, claiming to fear the changes in immigration policy that will be put in place by the new administration in the US.
Partner With A Canadian Immigration Lawyer
The Immigration and Refugee Board recently increased the waiting period for hearing asylum seeker claims to 16 months. However, some of the changes made by the government have not had any significant impact on speeding up the process of addressing the current backlog. Immigration lawyers can help asylum seekers to prepare their claim and increase their chances of getting accepted. Immigration policies keep on changing and working with a lawyer will ensure the migrants increase their chances of getting the refugee or asylum status.