More immigrants head across USA border to Canada

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22 March, 2017

A spike in refugee claims for the first two months of 2017 put Canada on track for the highest number since at least 2011.

Almost half of Canadian adults believe the nation should ramp up deportations of those who have illegally crossed its border, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll out Monday.

A wave of illegal immigrants residing in the U.S.

In January and February, a total of 525 air travellers - 400 in Ontario, 90 in Quebec, 35 in British Columbia and nine in Alberta - sought asylum upon arrival at airports, said the Canada Border Services Agency. The numbers in support of stronger immigration enforcement are similar to those in the US, where half the adults surveyed in a separate poll also said they want more illegal immigrants deported.

Despite growing political pressure and public dissatisfaction, Trudeau has refused to stem irregular migration across the border.

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The same number of respondents suggested that the migrants should be sent back to the United States, while 36 percent said Canada should "accept these migrants" and allow them to apply for asylum.

The Reuters poll claims hundreds of these migrants say they are anxious about an immigration crackdown in the USA under President Trump. There are no exact statistics available on exactly how many asylum seekers have crossed the border illegally.

The Canadian government has set an immigration target of 300,000 for 2017, comprising 1% of the population. Additionally, 41 percent said that these migrants crossing from the USA would make Canada "less safe".

However, Canada's prime minister has different ideas. "People understood the reception in Canada was not going to be as welcoming as in the past", said Rehaag, who specializes in immigration and refugee law. "These guys are jumping the border", Greg Janzen, the head of a Manitoba border municipality, said, in commenting on the poll. A fifth of those claimants were caught crossing the border illegally. The handling of those attempting to cross into the country illegally, however, has been more fractious. "The inland office may have fewer resources and can't give out as many appointments to take in asylum claims", Dench explained.

A similar Ipsos poll from January showed that 59 percent of Canadians supported the prime minister's approach to the issue.


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