No guarantees asylum seekers in Canada will be successful
Dear Mr Brown,
I heard that Canada is deporting asylum seekers who entered Canada from the US. I thought that Canada was open to refugees. Please explain the situation to me.
As a recent influx of asylum seekers crossing from the United States (US) strains Canada’s immigration system, the country has increased the deportation of migrants.
Mexicans and Haitians
There has been a 66 per cent increase in the deportations of Mexicans, who have flocked to Canada after a visa requirement was lifted in December. There has also been an increase in deportations of Haitians, who crossed into Canada illegally in the hopes of avoiding deportation under the US President Donald Trump Administration. In May, the Trump Administration threatened to end a long-standing humanitarian programme, potentially exposing as many as 58,000 Haitians to deportation in 2018.
However, there exists a pact between Canada and the US, known as the Safe Third Country Agreement, which forces most migrants to apply for asylum in the first country in which they arrive.
Overall, in 2017, approximately 5,529 people have been deported, compared to 7,357 for all of 2016, the data shows. Canadian officials have turned the Olympic Stadium in Montreal, Quebec in a temporary welcome centre for asylum seekers. The military has been deployed to set up a camp at the border. Also, a tent city was established in the province of Ontario.
False hope and expectations
Critics have suggested that Canada’s message of encouraging refugee application has created unrealistic expectations to asylum seekers streaming into Canada from the US. The prime minister has been accused of misleading some into believing that Canada accepts all migrants with open arms.
Since the start of the year more than 11,300 people have crossed into Canada by foot from the US, due mainly to the fear of being deported by the Trump Administration. Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau has also sought to temper the notion that Canada is a guaranteed safe haven for those fleeing the threat of deportation in the United States. He has reiterated that seeking asylum is about escaping persecution or being stateless, rather than economic migration.
The Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Ahmed Hussen has issued a statement reiterating that although Canada is an open and welcoming country, asylum seekers or those seeking refugee status must enter Canada using the proper channels and processes. In fact, he reinforced the message that the Government of Canada discourages people from entering Canada outside of designated ports of entry as it can be dangerous and is a violation of Canadian laws.
Those claiming asylum in Canada have the right to due process. However, there are no guarantees that an application will be successful.