Asylum applications from Quebec border crossers to be heard by dedicated team

Published on August 11, 2017

OTTAWA — Twenty officials from the Immigration and Refugee Board have been assigned to focus exclusively on processing the asylum claims of people crossing illegally into Quebec.

The dedicated team will begin next month, hearing applications from those who arrived earlier this summer, but the decision is being driven by the exceptionally high volume of people arriving in recent days.

The IRB says that between Aug. 1 and Aug. 7 alone, 1,798 people showed up at an unofficial crossing from the U.S. into Quebec.

The board says dedicating resources solely to the Quebec group doesn't mean there's anything different about the way their claims will be heard.

Instead, they say, the move recognizes that many of the claimants come from the same place, making it more efficient to hear those particular applications.

Many of the people who've crossed in recent weeks are from Haiti; statistics from the IRB show that in 2016, only 50 per cent of claims from Haitian nationals were accepted.

The Canadian Press