Number of asylum seekers continues to rise, especially in Quebec

Asylum seekers

Regina woman facing human smuggling charges after illegal border crossings

According to new numbers released by Public Safety Canada, there have been 1,860 RCMP interceptions of asylum seekers crossing the border illegally since January 2017.

Police haven't said how many people were charged or who was the subject of the attempted smuggling. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said the migrants were from West Africa, but refused to give further details.

The increase has also prompted calls to review the Safe Third Country Agreement, under which Canada is obliged to return refugees to the United States if they make an asylum claim at a border checkpoint.

Michelle Omoruyi, a Canadian resident, has been charged with human smuggling and conspiracy to commit human smuggling.

The announcement today said that nine foreign nationals were stopped at the border in a vehicle with Omoruyi and taken into custody.

Several people in the United States have also been arrested by U.S. Border Patrol agents in connection with the case.

On Friday, American border authorities identified a suspect in the investigation as he entered the US, the statement said.


Fisher said it's the first case in which RCMP have intercepted illegal immigrants coming into Saskatchewan this year.

On April 14, nine people were caught between the North Portal and Northgate entry points trying to cross the border into Canada.

Of those stopped in March, 644 were picked up in Quebec, 170 in Manitoba and 71 in B.C. There were lone crossers in Alberta and New Brunswick.

The figures also show a general increase in asylum claims in Canada, with 3,440 processed in March compared with 2,885 in February.

"Canadian authorities are managing the increase in asylum seekers in a sound and measured way, applying our laws and procedures to keep Canadians safe, while fully respecting all of this country's global obligations".

Refugee advocates have said Canada's policy to turn back people if they make refugee claims at border crossings - a provision of the Canada-U.S.

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