Canadians can expect long wait times and delays this summer due to an unprecedented overflow of illegal asylum seekers into Quebec. So far in 2018, Quebec has received almost 96% of illegal asylum seekers and it is expected that 400 people a day will be crossing the border in the summer months. In fact there are more people making illegal asylum claims than those doing so legally.
One of the reasons for this influx is attributed to the Safe Third Country Agreement. According to this agreement, asylum seekers must file their refuge claim in the first country they arrive except if they cross at an illegal entry point. In other words, both the US and Canada are required to refuse entry to asylum seekers at legal entry points, as both countries are considered safe, but asylum seekers can avoid being turned away at unofficial entry points in Canada. Furthermore, Canada does not treat these asylum seekers as criminals. Though it is illegal to enter Canada at an unofficial port of entry, once an asylum claim has been made, criminal charges are dropped.
How does this impact the average Canadian traveler?
Due to the crisis, border officers are being diverted to Quebec to help deal with the influx from May to September of 2018. This could affect major ports of entry including Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, Niagara Falls and Windsor, in response to the growing need for resources in Quebec. Travelers should be aware that they can expect delays at these ports of entry and make plans keeping the current happenings in mind. For more information on this, contact Toronto Immigration lawyer, Janice Warren.
In practice for 20 years, Janice P. Warren has concentrated her immigration law practice on helping Canadians move to the United States and finding ways to make their move as efficient and cost-effective as possible.