International News Jul 24, 2020 4:10 PM EST

Asylum claims rise in Canada despite travel restrictions

As travel restrictions remain in place, Canada is seeing an increase in the amount of asylum claims in the country.

Asylum claims rise in Canada despite travel restrictions
Sam Edwards High Level, Alberta
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As travel restrictions remain in place, Canada is seeing an increase in the amount of asylum claims in the country, according to Global News.

Data from the Immigration Department shows that in June, there were 1,500 refugee status claims filed in Canada—an increase of 100 from May.

RCMP have had to stop more people who were attempting to irregularly cross into the country—32 in June and 21 in May.

People have started filing refugee claims at airports which has not happened since April, when major travel restrictions were first put into place. A number of claims were filed at marine ports as well.

Those arriving at unmarked border crossings are currently being turned back from the Canadian border due to pandemic measures.

As a result of Wednesday's decision by the Federal Court that the Safe Third Country Agreement is unconstitutional, the amount of people attempting to irregularly enter Canada could change soon.

More than 3,000 people have attempted to irregularly cross into Canada this year due to the agreement. The deal would have them turned away from formal border points. A claim can still be lodged after people are inside the country.

Canada and the U.S. have been working to update the Safe Third Country agreement for a some time and rights advocates from each country pushed Canada to use the ruling as an opportunity.

“Human Rights First notes that the Trump administration’s treatment of asylum seekers is now even worse than it was at the time evidence was submitted in this case,” said the non-partisan U.S. group in a statement.

“In light of the court’s decision and this ongoing deterioration, Human Rights First urges the Canadian government to take this opportunity to withdraw from the ‘safe third country’ agreement.”’

Federal Justice Ann Marie McDonald, however, said on Wednesday that the constitutional guarantee of life, liberty and security is violated by parts of the agreement.

The court case has seen applicants from Ethiopia, El Salvador, and Syria be refused at the Canadian border after arriving from the U.S. at a land entry point.

The current travel restrictions seem to have lowered the overall asylum claims.

There were 26,725 claims filed by late June 2019, and so far there have been 16,865 asylum claims filed this year.

The increase that occurred in June 2020 came as a result of more people making claims after already having entered Canada instead of making the claims upon their arrival.

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