Backlog of irregular asylum claims has ballooned to over 28,000


OTTAWA — The backlog of asylum claims from irregular migrants awaiting a decision on whether they can stay in Canada has grown to over 28,000.

New statistics from the Immigration and Refugee Board show over 5,000 new refugee claims were filed between July and September of this year.

This was just over 1,100 fewer claims than the previous quarter.

But despite a recent boost in resources and staffing from government, the board finalized only about 1,600 claims in the same period, so the backlog got longer.

The Liberals promised $74 million over two years in the 2018 budget to address the major backlog of refugee claims, many of which are coming from “irregular” migrants crossing the Canada-U.S. border away from official crossings.

Refugee claims from other groups have also been on the rise, which has led to a current total backlog of over 64,000 refugee claims at the IRB.

Wait times have also grown — refugees who arrive in Canada today will wait almost two years before final decisions on their claims are reached.

The Canadian Press