Quebec has received 96 per cent of illegal border crossings so far in 2018

Quebec has received 96 per cent of illegal border crossings so far in 2018

The Quebec government said projections suggested there could be as many as 400 crossings per day this summer, compared to 250 in 2017

Asylum seekers walk along Roxham Road near Champlain, New York on August 6, 2017, making their way towards the Canada/US border.GEOFF ROBINS/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

MONTREAL — Quebec continues to receive the overwhelming majority of asylum seekers in Canada, with 96 per cent of illegal crossings into the country so far in 2018 happening at its border with the United States, according to recent RCMP statistics.

The rapid increase in the number is spurring calls from politicians in the province and community groups for Ottawa to change an agreement with the United States they say is encouraging people to get into Canada outside official ports of entry.

Out of 7,612 people who crossed illegally into the country during the first four months of the year, 7,307 came into Quebec — 2,479 in April alone, a 32 per cent increase from March.

Manitoba and British Columbia received the remainder, with about 150 asylum seekers each entering those provinces so far in 2018.

The Quebec government said projections suggested there could be as many as 400 crossings per day this summer, compared to 250 in 2017.

A group of asylum seekers arrive at the temporary housing facilities at the border crossing Wednesday May 9, 2018 in St. Bernard-de-Lacolle, Quebec.

In recent months, the number of new arrivals has increased dramatically, with many would-be refugees coming from Nigeria after spending only short periods of time in the United States before boarding buses destined for the border.

Stephan Reichhold, director of a Montreal-based group that represents 140 Quebec organizations working with refugees, immigrants and people without status, said it’s unclear exactly why Nigerians are coming to Canada in greater numbers.

“There have been very little decisions taken regarding the recent arrivals by the immigration and refugee board,” he said. “So we don’t know very much on what basis they are claiming asylum in Canada.”

But a quick look at news reports from that country tells a story of a region rife with conflict.

Amnesty International’s 2017-18 report on the country details the violence carried out by jihadist militant group Boko Haram, and notes Nigeria has 1.7 million internally displaced people.

“The military arbitrarily arrested and held thousands of young men, women and children in detention centres around the country,” the report states, while “inter-communal violence linked to lingering clashes between herdsmen and farming communities resulted in more than 549 deaths and the displacement of thousands in 12 states

n recent months, the number of new arrivals has increased dramatically, with many would-be refugees coming from Nigeria after spending only short periods of time in the United States before boarding buses destined for the border.

Stephan Reichhold, director of a Montreal-based group that represents 140 Quebec organizations working with refugees, immigrants and people without status, said it’s unclear exactly why Nigerians are coming to Canada in greater numbers.

“There have been very little decisions taken regarding the recent arrivals by the immigration and refugee board,” he said. “So we don’t know very much on what basis they are claiming asylum in Canada.”

But a quick look at news reports from that country tells a story of a region rife with conflict.

Amnesty International’s 2017-18 report on the country details the violence carried out by jihadist militant group Boko Haram, and notes Nigeria has 1.7 million internally displaced people.

“The military arbitrarily arrested and held thousands of young men, women and children in detention centres around the country,” the report states, while “inter-communal violence linked to lingering clashes between herdsmen and farming communities resulted in more than 549 deaths and the displacement of thousands in 12 states

http://edmontonjournal.com/news/canada/quebec-has-received-96-per-cent-of-illegal-border-crossings-so-far-in-2018-2/wcm/9b517bb9-aa1f-4c98-9ea7-b767601ef845