Canada Asylum Seekers
To deal with the influx of refugees entering Canada, the government implemented an agreement earlier this year aimed at stemming the flow of people crossing the border illegally from the United States.
While initially appearing to be successful with a sharp reduction in border crossings, the latest figures show a surprising turn of events. Rather than a decline in the overall number of asylum seekers, Canada is experiencing an increase in refugee claims, posing challenges to the country’s immigration system.
Previously, a significant number of asylum seekers entered Canada through unofficial crossings. Primarily in Quebec via Roxham Road in New York, attracted by Canada’s reputation for more efficient processing and greater acceptance of asylum applications than the United States.
In response to this situation, Canada and the United States amended their long-standing asylum-seeker agreement, the Safe Third Country Agreement, in March.
The change expanded the agreement to cover the entire length of the countries’ 4,000-mile land border, rather than just designated ports of entry, resulting in a sharp drop in the number of people stopped at informal crossings.
Some experts believe that Canada’s status as a relatively safe harbor amid global pressures such as war, climate change, and human rights abuses is driving the influx.
Other countries, including the European Union and the United States, have recently introduced measures to limit asylum claims, making Canada an attractive option for asylum seekers.
Although the government amended the agreement with the US to deal with illegal crossings. Some asylum seekers are trying to bypass the two-week rule of the agreement until the immunity period expires and go into hiding. Advocates working with migrants warn that this approach creates risks and encourages individuals to engage with traffickers.
Canada’s land border closures have inadvertently shifted the asylum system to those who can get visas and plane tickets. Leaving some of the most vulnerable people unable to access Canada’s protections. This has led to discussions about the inequality of this development in Canada’s immigration policies.
Canada faces the complex task of managing its asylum system while balancing its commitment to welcoming immigrants with the practical challenges of dealing with growing numbers of asylum seekers. It even wants to encourage regular immigration to address labor shortages. The situation highlights the difficulty of border management while addressing the urgent need for protection faced by asylum seekers.