More than 300 unaccompanied minors are pouring into Canada seeking refugee status every year, a CBC News investigation has found.
According to the Canada Border Services Agency, 1,937 children averaging 10 years old have arrived in Canada since 2008 with no parents and no documents, fleeing war, poverty and other adversity in their home countries. The biggest influx came in 2009 when 460 kids crossed the border.
"These kids are of varying ages, varying sophistication, they've all had something terrible happen to them which is why they're here," said lawyer Christine Lonsdale, who leads the Unaccompanied Minors Project at law firm McCarthy Tetrault.
Nearly half of the young asylum-seekers arrive in Quebec or Atlantic Canada.
CBC's Ron Charles followed the story of Ahmed Mohammed, an Iraqi refugee whose parents spent $20,000 to spirit him out of the country, through Turkey and the U.S. to arrive in Canada alone at age 17.
Watch the video for the full story.