Canada’s Refugee system is in jeopardy – Collateral Damage caused by Trump administration – Sudden increase of Asylum Seekers

For decades Canada is known for being the luxury point for newcomers. Buffered by the United States and three oceans to the south, every year it welcomes a huge number of immigrants. Over the years, very few asylum-seekers have crossed the US border illegally and henceforth, Canada did not keep a track of the number in a consistent manner.

But over the period of last 14 months, there has been a drastic change in the overall scenario. The president of US, Donald Trump has a crackdown on the illegal immigration and strip the Salvadorans, Haitians as well as others from there temporary legal status which generate a huge effect on Canada’s Refugee system.

Around more than 20000 people which include thousands of Nigerians as well as hundreds of serials Turks and Eritreans, have crossed the legal border and entered into Canada illegally in search of asylum. Many people are fleeing in the fear that Donald Trump would deport them to their homeland.

This all of a sudden northward migration has lead to a massive pressure on the system of Canada’s visa processing. The vast number of Asylum seekers lead to the worst delays. Again, the aid Agencies are also struggling as much as they can in order to house the Asylum seekers. Around 4 cities (Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto and Winnipeg) have been affected due to this migration wave and the aid Agencies are also facing accommodation shortage.

An extra budget of 173 million has been set aside by the Canadian government forcefully in order to pay for the extra paroles at the border crossings, coping up with the influx as well as processing the refugee applications and security screening.

The situation has been discussed by the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau government with the US President Donald Trump, ensuring that the US precedence policies and not to be blamed directly for triggering the unexpected migration wave. Preparations are being taken to allow more people to cross the border easily once the weather warms.

In one of the interviews, Ahmed Hussen, the immigration and Refugee Minister said: “we will be ready”.

According to the ad agencies who are dealing with this influx, they are giving their best and struggling to cope up with the situation, and more funds are required. They are planning for a comprehensive long-term program as well as better coordination with Ottawa.

As per Ilona Beiks who is the vice president of the Inland Refugee Society of British Columbia, “it’s going to get worse. The numbers keep climbing.” She also said that this is the main reason why they have to turn away the refugees last year. In fact, it happened for the first time in the history of 35 years due to the shortage of money to cope up with the increasing number of asylum seekers.

There is no sign of abating in the influx. As per the critics, around 1500 Asylum seekers have crossed the border in the month of January. Those candidates who have been working with Refugee claimants say that this is not a blip- it’s simply the new normal.

Strict immigration policies that have been sought-after by Trump had played a major impact on the immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. It also determines the refugee claims as well. The worst part is that it has become so much overwhelmed with these cases that it is ignoring the legislative time limits given for dealing with them. Basically, the refugee claims need to be processed within the time frame of 60 days but with the increasing number of cases, the board is now waiting to meet the targets.  According to the unpublished data reviewed by the Reuters, in the month of December 2017, around 86% of the earrings did not occur within the allotted time frame. This is 66% more from the previous year in December 2016, which is just a month after Donald Trump was elected as the President of US. And again, 26% more from December 2015.

On 20th February, the board plans to prioritize those applications who have been sincerely waiting over the years and months. And this directly means a longer period of wait for the recent arrivals. Generally, there is an estimate of 20 months average waiting period for the processing claims. But due to the situation, there is a worsening delay in the claims. According to the spokesman for immigration and Refugee and Citizenship Canada, the government is “committed to an efficient and fair asylum system”.