Politics

MP Rempel wants entire Canadian border designated official port of entry

Conservative immigration critic Michelle Rempel wants to see the entire Canada-U.S. border designated as an official port of entry to help stop the flow of illegal migrants.
More than 25,000 asylum seekers crossed into Quebec in 2017, according to the provincial government. Projections indicate that number could be higher in 2018. (Charles Krupa/The Associated Press)

Conservative immigration critic Michelle Rempel wants to see the entire Canada-U.S. border designated as an official port of entry to help stop the flow of illegal migrants.

Concerns have boiled over in Quebec this week over the challenges posed by the thousands of asylum seekers crossing the border at unofficial entry points in Quebec and Ontario.

Some officials are projecting up to 400 people a day could cross the border into Quebec through forest paths this summer to claim asylum in Canada — a situation Rempel is calling a crisis.

Rempel wants the federal government to make the entire border an official border crossing, closing a loophole in the so-called "safe third country" agreement that encourages would-be refugees in the U.S. to claim asylum in Canada.

The Liberal government says it is working to ease pressures caused by the surge in asylum claims, including $74 million earmarked to help reduce extensive backlogs in refugee claims processing.

But Canada's Immigration and Refugee Board is warning concentrated surges in refugee claims and appeals could negate any gains it makes in reducing backlogs. Last year, a 20 per cent improvement in processing was swallowed by a 40 per cent increase in cases.

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