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Border Runners: A by-the-numbers look at refugees crossing into Canada

Last Updated Mar 29, 2017 at 2:11 pm EDT

It’s day two of CityNews reporter Avery Haines’ trip to Plattsburgh, N.Y., to find asylum-seekers on a literal run for the Canadian border.

Those who cross that border on foot are called the Roxham Road Refugees, named after the road that skirts Champlain, N.Y., and then turns into Chemin Roxham on the Quebec side of the border. But just how many people are coming into Canada?

CityNews reporter Avery Haines was on Facebook live as a family of asylum-seekers was arrested at the crossing.

For updates from Haines, check out the CityNews Facebook page.

Here’s a by-the-numbers look at how many people are coming into Canada, and how many immigrants Canada hopes to admit this year.


Border Runners: The final stop on the refugee railroad

RCMP interceptions
2017 (Two months, January and February): 1,134 asylum seekers crossed the Canadian border illegally

2016 (All 12 months): The CBC reported that the number was 2,464. In an email to CityNews, the RCMP said they would not be providing historical data.

Asylum claims processed by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) offices

2017: 5,520
2016: 23,895
2015: 16,115
2014: 13,450
2013: 10,370
2012: 20,470
2011: 25,315

Source: Government of Canada

Canadian immigration targets

2017: 300,000

2016: Between 280,000 and 305,000

How many refugees?

2017: 40,000 protected persons and refugees (included in 300,000 immigration target)

2016: 55,800 (included in 280,000 to 305,000 immigration target)

Who can make an asylum claim in Canada?

Individuals can make an asylum claim in Canada at a port of entry or at an inland CBSA or IRCC office. CBSA or IRCC officials will determine if an individual is eligible to make a claim. Factors determining an individual’s eligibility to make a refugee claim include whether the claimant has committed a serious crime, made a previous claim in Canada, or received protection in another country. (Government of Canada)

Illegal crossings into Canada

People who are intercepted by the RCMP or local law enforcement after crossing the border illegally are brought to the nearest CBSA port of entry or inland CBSA or IRCC office (whichever is closest), where an immigration officer will conduct an immigration examination, including considering whether detention is warranted

U.S. Border Patrol Officer Mike Estrella says there is not a lot officers like him can do to stop people from crossing over into the Canadian border. Watch below.

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