The Canadian government will be rejecting more refugee claim applications due to increased illegal crossings. According to Reuters, Canada brought down asylum claim approval rate from 53 percent in 2017 to 40 percent in the first quarter of 2018. Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board reported that no claims were approved in the first quarter of 2017. The board said that they have no plans to handle the increased crossings. Trudeau administration is clear that their first priority is safety and security of Canadians and integrity of the Canadian immigration system.
Asylum seekers are crossing the US – Canada border started rising from January 2017 and reached its maximum during the summers. The year was dominated by Haitians crossing the border as Trump canceled their temporary protected status, on the other hand, 2018 is dominated by Nigerians, who are misusing the US tourist visa to enter Canada. More than 7,600 Nigerians crossed the US – Canada border already between January and April 2018. It is only adding additional pressure on Canada’s backlogged asylum claim system.
It even prompted Ahmed Hussen, Canada’s immigration minister, to visit Nigeria to talk with the Nigerian government and US representatives to bring down illegal immigration levels. He made sure the message was clear and encouraged them to come to Canada legally for studying or through the Express Entry system. On the other hand, Canadian immigration senior officials talked with their US counterparts to tight tourist visa rules for Nigerian applicants. After the discussion, tourist visas issued to Nigerians came down by 10 percent.
A representative of the Immigration and Refugee Board said that they’ve sped up the approval processing, but there are too many cases to go through. However, approval rates for Haitians and Nigerians are too low. Haitians have a nine percent approval rate, and Nigerians have a 33.5 percent approval rate, which is far below the average 40 percent.