Fewer asylum seekers crossing into Quebec illegally, CBSA says
CBSA says drop in number of refugee claimants started last week but agents still taking situation day by day
After an unprecedented spike in the number of asylum seekers crossing the border into Quebec illegally in early August, the Canada Border Services Agency says those numbers are now dropping.
Border agents are now handing the claims of 50 to 100 asylum seekers per day.
Compare that to the beginning of the month, when as many as 1,200 people were waiting to be processed at the border crossing in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Que.
Before the surge in the number of people crossing into Canada began, agents were handling about a dozen asylum claims daily.
While the number of refugee claimants has been on the decline since the end of last week, the CBSA said it's still taking the situation day by day.
Many of the recent refugee claimants crossing into Quebec are Haitians who have been living in America for years but now face deportation.
In May, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that he would not be extending temporary protection status (TPS) for Haitian nationals past January, when that status is set to expire.
TPS was granted after the 2010 earthquake, but now the Department of Homeland Security considers Haiti to be a safe country.
A slowing of the surge of asylum seekers and more resources allocated to handle the claims also mean that people are spending less time at the makeshift tent city set up at the border while waiting to be processed, said the CBSA.
Last week, Cornwall, Ont., Mayor Leslie O'Shaughnessy announced the tent city pitched outside the Nav Centre to make room for asylum seekers will remain empty until further notice.
He said immigration officials told the city that processing was proceeding more quickly than expected at Quebec crossings.