Number of people seeking asylum in Canada from Mexico rises again

March recorded the highest number yet of new claims in 2017 – 110, up from 85 in February and 71 in January

A sign is seen near Emerson, Man. Thursday, February 9, 2016. Refugees have been crossing the closed border port into Canada at Emerson and authorities had a town hall meeting in Emerson to discuss their options. (John Woods/CP)

A sign is seen near Emerson, Man. Thursday, February 9, 2016. (John Woods/CP)

OTTAWA – The number of people seeking asylum in Canada from Mexico continues to rise.

New figures from the Immigration and Refugee Board show that March recorded the highest number yet of new claims in 2017 – 110, up from 85 in February and 71 in January, for a total of 266 so far this year.

In all of 2016, there were just 241, statistics from the IRB show.

Last December, the Liberal government lifted a requirement for Mexicans to obtain a visa before travelling to Canada and an increase in claims was forecast.

The volume of asylum seekers from Mexico had been the reason the previous government begin to require visas in 2009, but the move caused diplomatic bad blood between the two countries.

The federal Liberals had promised to remove the requirement and doing so was given new impetus given the impending renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Still, in lifting the visa, Canada told the Mexican government that if asylum claims reached a certain level, the visa could be reinstated.

That figure has never been publicly released, but the current claim level is believed to be well below the threshold.

In 2008, the year before the visa was introduced, there were 9,000 claims lodged, making up nearly a quarter of all claims filed that year.

Claims plummeted the next year and continued to drop; in the first three months of 2016, 11 claims filed in January, 4 in February and 11 in March.

The cost of lifting the visas has been pegged at $261.9 million over 10 years, after the expectation of increased tourism and travel dollars from Mexicans is factored in.

Flights between the two countries have increased, though some immigration service providers point out those increases lead to the corresponding increase in asylum claims – it is easier to get to Canada from Mexico.

Statistics from British Columbia show that in December 2016 and January and February 2017 there were 29 refugee claimants from Mexico compared to 30 who arrived in the 12-month period from December 2015 to November 2016.

The majority of the newcomers claimed asylum at the Vancouver airport.


Number of people seeking asylum in Canada from Mexico rises again

  1. and how long were these folks residents in the USofA while not bothering to get the necessary paperwork to remain legally. Days, months, years ? I guess if you’re not on the books you are able to work for cash at a rate of about 20% less than someone who is on the books They are not asylum seekers, they are migrans looking to work the system to their own advantage, as they have already demonstrated.

    • Yeah they all come to the US or Canada so they can live a migrants life.

      You wanna trade places with them?

      • as usual, a totally irrelevant comment .They have the opportunity to complete the necessary paperwork and don’t bother. Why is that ?

        • You can’t fill out paperwork you can’t read.

          • 0h good for you emilyone, the government if full of folks who’s meaning of life is to help out with translation and scribing. They are chomping at the bit to help, that’s their job and they want to be useful and helpful and employed. Please try again

        • Dear rockhead……Canada has a point system…the US does not.

          Thousands of people can pour over the Mexico-US border….and be illiterate.

          We are not talking doctors and lawyers just ‘forgetting’ to fill out the paperwork….nor are we talking translation..

          Think a bit before you post things eh?

          • sitting there in your rum soaked wine stained pajamas, squinting through a cloud of Old Port cigar smoke, They try to enter as refugees, who are not subjected to a point system, Immigrants yes, refugees no. Do you see a difference….0h, maybe you don’t see a difference

        • Immigrants and refugees are quite different.

          Immigrants have an education, and they fill out the paperwork.

          Refugees are just ‘seeking refuge’….they are usually poor and illiterate and they do manual labour……like picking strawberries and harvesting cabbage and mowing peoples lawns and being cleaners etc.

          They don’t do paperwork

          Why is it you high-school dropouts are so belligerent about everything?

          • one thing that is certain when conversing with EMILYONE ( gender neutral ) it will start the name calling and when receiving a response in kind will moan and chew. Have lovley evening

          • Perhaps if you were civil to others, they would be civil to you, Rocky.