7 'irregular' border crossings into Sask. attempted this year, RCMP report
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says crossings in Sask. not of 'statistical consequence'
Asylum seekers are coming to Saskatchewan, but not nearly in the numbers officials are seeing in Manitoba and Quebec.
Public Safety Canada said officials have intercepted seven people who tried to cross the border "irregularly" — meaning somewhere other an official border crossing — into Saskatchewan so far this year.
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Five of the incidents happened in January and two this March.
RCMP confirmed that the incidents in January involved a family of five attempting to cross the border into Canada. The family was intercepted by United States border patrol personnel and did not make their way across the border.
The United States Border Patrol is part of the Integrated Border Enforcement team, as is the RCMP.
The five people remain under U.S. jurisdiction.
It's against the law for anyone — citizen or not — to cross the border into Canada somewhere other than an official point of entry.
The government didn't say whether any of the seven made refugee claims, or how those people crossed the border.
It's also not clear whether these crossings are of the same nature as the illegal border crossings happening in larger numbers in other provinces.
But CBC has been told Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada processed two inland asylum claims in Saskatchewan in the first two months of 2017.
Spike in asylum claims
The number of asylum claims at borders in Saskatchewan is historically much lower than Manitoba's, with only a handful of claims in most years since 2011.
Last year, however, there was a spike, with 29 claims at the border.
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said the focus of attention now is on Emerson, Man., and Lacolle, Que.
"There have been minor incidents elsewhere but nothing of any statistical consequence," Goodale said Tuesday.