'Asylum Seekers' Are Now Making Their Way to 'Sanctuary City' Toronto

Leah Barkoukis
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Posted: Feb 27, 2017 8:35 AM
'Asylum Seekers' Are Now Making Their Way to 'Sanctuary City' Toronto

Thousands of ‘asylum seeking’ illegal immigrants are now making their way up north to the sanctuary city of Toronto claiming to be seeking refuge from President Donald Trump’s administration.

The surge in refugees seeking asylum in Canada by way of the United States has hit southern Ontario border crossings, according to the latest figures from border officials.

Starting in November, just as U.S. President Donald Trump stunned the world with his election win, more than 400 refugees a month started showing up at the five border crossings looking to get into Canada permanently.

In January alone, 433 refugees showed up at Ontario border crossings, compared to 175 refugees in the same month in 2015. That figure is a 147 per cent increase. […]

There were 422 refugees seeking asylum in southern Ontario in November 2016, up from the 231 during the same month in 2015. December had similar results with 447 in 2016, compared to 297 the year before. 

The spike is related to President Donald Trump’s administration, Ontario lawyer Eddie Kadri told CBC News.

"You're seeing a direct correlation between the rise in refugee claims and the new administration's policies," he said. "Absolutely, there's no doubt."

And many have their sights set of Toronto.

Toronto has been a popular destination for many refugees entering Canada. Health-care workers in that city and the mayor have called for more assistance, as homeless shelters there have dealt with increasing numbers of newcomers.

In January, some 810 people seeking refugee status, including men, women and children, used a city shelter, according to statistics from Toronto's Shelter Support and Housing Administration. That's an 80 per cent increase from January 2016.

And the reason Kadri said so many of these people are crossing at land borders rather than official border crossings is that the U.S.-Canada Safe Third Country Agreement would subject them to deportation.

Given that agreement between the two countries, anyone coming through a border crossing would be denied entry into Canada unless they fit into one of the exceptions. 

"People in this situation would likely be well counseled and would know ahead of time, whether they can show up at a border," he said. "That's why you see a lot of people trying to cross land borders, where there's just land, there's no actual port of entry."

Last month, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau welcomed refugees to the country.

“To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith,”he wrote on Twitter. “Diversity is our strength.”