Canada’s border agency said Wednesday that it planned to increase its deportations of undocumented migrants by 10,000 a year.
These are to include not just failed refugees and asylum-seekers but those authorities regard as national security threats.
“While Canada is a humanitarian country that has welcomed many immigrants and asylum-seekers over the years, those coming to our country are expected to abide by our laws and processes,” a border agency spokesperson told the state-run Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
There is a backlog of about 18,000 migrants listed for deportation, with 5,300 so-called actionable cases, meaning there are no legal appeals or other reasons for them to stay.
Opposition conservatives call the number of asylum-seekers entering Canada through unmanned U.S. border crossings a crisis. They say the government does not take the matter seriously and has no plan.
Liberals call the border situation a challenge.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday that “we are in the process of looking at how we can improve the immigration system to see how can we move rapidly. … It is a priority for us to have an immigration system that works, and that is always what we are going to try to do.”
Many of those who seek asylum or refugee status in Canada are from Colombia, Eritrea, Haiti, Nicaragua or Turkey.