A High Number of Asylum Seekers Turned to Canada in 2017

In the summer of 2017, some jaws hit the floor when it was revealed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada that thousands, upon thousands of asylum seekers were intercepted when trying to enter the country.

From July through August alone, 8,526 individuals attempted to get into Canada via Quebec. Other Canadian provinces didn’t come close to that figure.

In a year-end report issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, it’s stated that the RCMP intercepted 20,593 asylum seekers in 2017. Out of that total, 18,836 attempted to come into Canada through Quebec. Manitoba (1,108) and British Columbia (718) also saw its fair share of asylum seekers.

“The number of RCMP interceptions refers to asylum seekers apprehended between the ports of entry and does not reflect other illegal border crossings,” reads the report. “These numbers may be included in either CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency) or IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) processing results as the asylum seekers are turned over by the RCMP to these agencies if a claim of refugee status is made.”

Additionally, more than 49,000 asylum claims were filed in 2017. The Canadian Press notes that this is the first time Canada has had more than 40,000 in a single year since 2001.

“Individuals can make an asylum claim in Canada at a port of entry, at a CBSA inland office or an IRCC inland office,” continues the report. “CBSA or IRCC officials will then determine if an individual is eligible to make an asylum claim.”

It continued: “[The] IRCC’s role in this process is to develop and implement policies, programs and services that facilitate the legitimate arrival of people and their integration into Canada in a way that maximizes their contribution to the country, while protecting the health, safety and security of Canadians.”

-Adam Grant

On a recent episode of theZoomer, a panel of community leaders gathered to celebrate Canada’s sesquicentennial and to reflect on the country’s history. You can watch that episode below.