Unsustainable Asylum Seeker Rise on US-Canada Border

The Canadian government released data on Thursday showing that the number of immigrant asylum seekers making an illegal crossing into Canada from the US border more than tripled in July. Immigrants fearful of the crackdown on immigration by the Trump administration are now heading north.

According to the federal government, over 3100 immigrants crossed the border illegally last month, to file claims for asylum and were taken into custody. This was a large increase from the 884 figure in June. 96% of the immigrants headed for the mostly French-speaking province of Quebec, where the number of asylum seekers, most of whom are from Haiti, has resulted in a backlash from anti-immigrant groups and opposition politicians alike.

A further 3800 immigrants were taken into custody in the first 15 days of this month, crossing into Quebec over the US border, as revealed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Over 1000 people are now living in government facilities and tents at a border, crossing over from upstate New York to Lacolle, Quebec. Marc Garneau, the Canadian Transport Minister, told Lacolle reporters on Thursday that, although the situation is extraordinary, it is being well managed by the government and should not be described as a crisis.

The refugee system in Canada is suffering its worst delays for many years, with the country struggling to give social assistance and housing to the influx of immigrant asylum seekers. Critics have accused the Canadian government of being too soft on those who break immigration laws.