How US Travel Restrictions Could Contribute to Influx of Asylum Seekers in Canada

Immigration Lawyer Canada

When Donald Trump was elected last November, there was a sudden influx of asylum seekers from the US into Canada. This number increased sometime in January when there were rumors of a travel ban that would be enforced by the new administration in the US. However, according to a statement from a representative of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees in Canada the claim that the stream of refugees crossing the Canada-US border has increased significantly is somewhat misleading. The number of asylum seekers in Canada is still manageable and the picture that is currently being painted by the media is not accurate.

Unprecedented Increase In Asylum Seekers

Between January and July, 13,211 people crossed the Canadian border irregularly. The majority of these crossed into Quebec. The number of asylum seekers is said to vary widely and is unexpected. For instance, in 2001, there were 44,695 claims and the numbers dropped to 20,000 claims the next year after changes were made in the refugee system. There are still no clear reasons as to why certain groups come to Canada at specific times. Canada usually receives a mix of people from certain regions so it’s hard to predict the reasons for increased number of asylum seekers each year.

Is There Really An Increase In Asylum Seekers From The US?

Last winter, there were claims that Somalis and Haitians were moving from the US into Manitoba and Quebec after rumors that the new Trump administration would force them out of the country. However, the IRB reported that only 467 people were from Somalia and 897 from Haiti out of the 17,240 claims that they had received from January to June this year. Many of the claims that were being heard by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada were from Nigeria and Turkey.

This could only mean that many of the asylum seekers were not really affected by the new administration. Many of them always had it in their mind to come to Canada and hence were just traveling to the states because it’s supposedly easier to get an American visa.

Reasons For Moving Into Canada

Immigration lawyers have a tough job of helping their clients prepare a claim to present before the IRB. By working with a Canadian immigration lawyer, asylum seekers can understand the options they have to continue staying in the country. Sometimes the lawyer can advise his/her client to file for refugee status or on humanitarian grounds depending on their unique circumstances.  If you are in Canada without the required papers, speak to an accredited immigration lawyer regarding your case.