Immigration Minister certain of tackling Canadian Asylum Backlog -10th January, 2019

Immigration Minister certain of tackling Canadian Asylum Backlog

Ahmed Hussen, Immigration Minister of Canada is confident that there are enough resources for tackling the backlog of asylum claims.


Presently, there are 64,000 claims asylum cases, waiting for a decision in the Immigration and Refugee Board. 35,000 of such claims emanate from irregular border crossing from the USA. There is an estimate that claimants have to wait for two years before they get a decision. The government has a plan to appoint many more judges and also hire staff, to deal with more cases quickly. Furthermore, there will be no compromise on the fair process.

A recent review

Additionally, in a recent review, there was a focus on several problems of the system. It has failed to cope up with the increase in the volume of asylum claims. Moreover, this is leading to a growing backlog. Also, there was a recommendation for bringing it under the authority of the Immigration Minister. Another recommendation was, that the IRB should get some time for solving these problems.

Measures of the Government

Moreover, recently there was an announcement of a Task Force to concentrate on less complex cases. There was the talk of establishing an Asylum Management Board for fast processing by improvement in coordination. Hussen is of the opinion that after these changes the board can finalize 50 percent additional cases. There is a plan to hire 250 employees within the next two years, and also include 64 new judges.

The present backlog occurred owing to the changes undertaken by the previous government. It left many vacancies in IRB and also aimed at deleting in 2012. The result was a massive backlog among legacy refugees. Furthermore, many other claimants are waiting for a hearing for the past five years.

Canada Irregular Border Crossing in 2018

When President Trump threatened the Temporary Protected Status of central and South Americans it began the influx of irregular border crossing.  In July (3,134) and August 2017(5,712), the irregular border crossers were at the peak crossing it at unrecognized points.

President Trump proposed to end TPS status for many nationality groups. People from countries ravaged by war and environmental disasters were a part of this program since the 1990s.

Safe Third Country Agreement

The crossers choose to do this act at unrecognized points owing to the Safe Third Country Agreement. This helps the asylum seekers to apply for refugee status in the country which they reach. Many people blame this agreement for forcing asylum seekers to cross the border at unrecognized points. Immigration and Refugee Protection Act of Canada mandates that the safe countries must undergo a review continually.

2018 Irregular Border Crossers

The government has launched an information campaign with a message that there was no guarantee of staying in Canada for the people crossing the border. Many people reach Quebec. The province has called on the federal government to finance the expenditure bill in this matter. The federal government is spreading these persons across Canada to ease the burden of Quebec. Totally 18,139 people arrived in 2018, and of these 17,276, crossed the border point at Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle.

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