B.C. has received over 90 refugee claimants so far in 2017: ISS of BC

B.C. has received over 90 refugee claimants so far in 2017: ISS of BC

Over one hundred people have been risking their lives to cross the border into Manitoba illegally to seek asylum, but Director at Immigrant Services Society of BC Chris Friesen says there have been other cases.

“We’ve got about over 90 refugee claimants that have come in since January 1, and we’ve seen a modest increase in comparison to previous years of particularly Mexican refugee claimants since the Visa was lifted on December 1.”

READ MORE: Over 20 More Jump Border Into Manitoba

But Friesen says some claimants are not just coming through land borders illegally.

“They would be travelling, you know with a travel document, a passport, once they touch down at YVR and go through Canadian Border Security Agency, they at that time declare that they are seeking asylum in this country.”

He says the claimants coming into the country are also from Central America, East Africa, and Iraq.

Friesen says groups from the Lower Mainland have been meeting to develop contingency plans in the likelihood of increased arrivals.

Canada needs to do more

Meanwhile, Federal Immigration critic with the NDP Jenny Kwan says Canada needs to do more.

She says the country should suspend the Safe Third Country Agreement with the United States.

“President Trump has already said that he is working on bringing in a new executive order. The information that we are hearing, that’s being reported in the press, is to say the order is going to be substantively the same as what he brought in previously, with the exception of excluding those with a green card.”

Kwan says she fears the situation isn’t going to get any better.

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